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Steve Bruce amazed by Brighton and can’t believe his ‘tireless’ preparations failed…again

4 months ago
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Steve Bruce admitted Brighton were better than Newcastle United in every respect on Saturday night.

Well he could hardly say anything else could he…although there again, it never normally stops him.

Steve Bruce right up there with the likes of Alan Pardew and John Carver for incredible claims and attempts to defy the logic of what we have all just watched.

On this occasion though, Steve Bruce holding his hands up and saying Graham Potter’s Brighton caught him out with their tactics.

Hmmm, it all looked and sounded very recognisable to me.

Exactly six months to the day ago…

Steve Bruce after Newcastle 0 Brighton 3 – 20 September 2020:

“We’ve been beaten badly at home and we have to accept we weren’t good enough. That’s what it is.

“When you’re 2-0 down after seven minutes then it becomes difficult against a team who base their style on possession.

“It’s over before we have kicked a ball basically, it was a really difficult afternoon for us. 

“They were better than us and ran it from start to finish.”

We all know how Brighton play and back in September it could have been six or seven, Steve Bruce luck to only lose 3-0, just as was the case last night.

Back in September Newcastle didn’t have a single effort on target, last night the stats (see below) said there was one but I can’t remember a single serious save for Sanchez, so it must have been the equivalent of a back pass.

Back at St James Park in September 2020, Brighton completely controlled the first half, controlled possession against a poor passive Newcastle United. Last night Brighton had 75% possession in the first half.

The only real difference in the two matches is that whereas in September, it took Brighton only seven minutes to be two goals up, this time it took 51 minutes for the scoreline to show 2-0.

After the final whistle last night, Steve Bruce declared: ‘It’s difficult to digest at the moment.’

Whether that was due to the Head Coach’s Greggs consumption, or the humiliating performance and feeble defeat, or a combination of the two, in an unknown.

What is for sure is that watching this Steve Bruce Newcastle United team gives NUFC fans never ending heartburn all round.

Steve Bruce after Brighton 3 Newcastle 0 – 20 March 2021:

“It’s difficult to digest at the moment.

“We simply weren’t anywhere near good enough on the night.

“Fair play to Brighton, they were better in every department.

“We knew we’d have to be good with the ball and it was a very difficult evening for us, a painful one at that.

“Their [Brighton’s] tactics were very decent, they caught us out in that respect.

“We probably needed to get to half-time to clear a few things up, overall though we weren’t anywhere near the levels we need to be at.

“I take full responsibility for that and unfortunately it unravelled very, very quickly.

“Our concentration levels to get to half-time were crucial, so to give a poor goal away sums it up and that was the concern for me, it was a little bit too easy for Brighton, which was typified by the first goal.

“We have to accept that we were nowhere near good enough tonight.

“We have two weeks now to see if we can get one or two players back [in time for Tottenham at home on Sunday 4 April].

“There’s a lot of disappointment as over the last few weeks I have seen a degree of togetherness and fight…but we have got to be better than we were tonight to give ourselves a chance.

“We worked tirelessly on how we were going to play against Brighton but we simply didn’t do enough with or without the ball in a big game.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Brighton 3 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 20 March 8pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Brighton:

Trossard 45+3, Welbeck 51, Maupay 68

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Brighton 66% (75%) Newcastle 34% (25%)

Total shots were Brighton 11 (7)  Newcastle 3 (1)

Shots on target were Brighton 6 (3) Newcastle 1 (0)

Corners were Brighton 3 (1) Newcastle 1 (1)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquill0, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Willock (Murphy 62), Hayden (Hendrick 45+2), Shelvey, Almiron (Sean Longstaff 76), Fraser, Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Ritchie, Lewis, Fernandez, Gayle, Carroll

Crowd: 00,000

(Brighton 3 Newcastle 0 – This was supposed to be a match report but in the circumstances…Read HERE)

(Newcastle fans group call for immediate Steve Bruce sacking after Brighton humiliation – Read HERE)

(Brighton 3 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Brighton 3 Newcastle 0 – International breaks are prime time for sacking managers – Read HERE)

(Brighton 3 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s dismal defeat – Read HERE)

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