Steve Bruce reflects on performance against Sheffield United and abuse from Newcastle fans
Steve Bruce was indebted to Joe Willock, as the Arsenal loan player showed the others how to finish when scoring the only goal of the game just before half-time.
The midfielder becoming in the process the youngest player in the Premier League to score in six games in a row.
As for keeping hold of Joe Willock, it was the usual from Steve Bruce, the NUFC Head Coach saying he would love to sign the midfielder BUT gave no indication that the club were making any move to do so.
To have any chance whatsoever of buying Joe Willock, if indeed Mike Ashley is willing an offer to be made, Newcastle should be going in as strong as possible as early as possible. To try and force Arsenal’s hand before other more ambitious clubs get involved and just as importantly, convince Joe Willock that Newcastle are a club now looking to progress.
Steve Bruce says himself that Newcastle have to be ambitious and be ‘better than just surviving’, well that has been Mike Ashley’s so so low aim all along for 14 years.
Steve Bruce was abused by Newcastle fans during and after the match, the Head Coach claiming he knew he was ‘never going to be everybody’s cup of tea’ when first agreeing to sign for Mike Ashley.
The reality is that Wednesday night saw Steve Bruce make it six wins in Newcastle’s last twenty eight matches.
This season has been pretty desperate for Newcastle United for 80% or more of the time, Steve Bruce should count himself lucky that the turnstiles were only allowed to open for this final home match.
“The supporters were terrific.
“When you think there were only 10,000 here, the difference is amazing.
“We could have put it to bed a bit earlier, some of our play in the first half was very decent.
“We all aspire to take Newcastle into the top half of the table.
“We have to be actively better than just surviving.
“We have got the makings of a half-decent team.”
After getting abuse from Newcastle fans on post-match lap of honour and having derogatory chants aimed at him [as well as at Mike Ashley and the Premier League]:
“Look, I have said from day one, when I walked through the door here, I’m never going to be everybody’s cup of tea and I accept that, unfortunately, but that is the way it is.
“Everybody is entitled to their opinion and that’s the way it is, unfortunately.”
Chances of Newcastle buying Joe Willock?:
“It is a double-edged sword.
“We have to respect he is Arsenal’s player.
“If we can, we’d love to bring him here.
“Let’s see what we can do because he’s exactly what we needed.
“Joe has still got a lot to learn but we have given him a freedom and a licence to get forward.
“He is a young player enjoying his football.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Sheffield United 0 – Wednesday 19 May 6pm
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was Sheff Utd 50% (34%) Newcastle 50% (66%)
Total shots were Sheff Utd 11 (2) Newcastle 16 (12)
Shots on target were Sheff Utd 1 (0) Newcastle 5 (4)
Corners were Sheff Utd 2 (0) Newcastle 5 (4)
Referee: Robert Jones
Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Krafth, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock (Carroll 85), Almiron, Saint-Maximin (Sean Longstaff 71), Joelinton (Gayle 45)
Mark Gillespie, Ciaran Clark, Jeff Hendrick, Javier Manquillo, Matty Longstaff, Jamal Lewis
(Sheffield United boss gutted to lose after having been ‘in control of the game’ against Newcastle – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Sheffield United 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Sheffield United 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s win – Read HERE)
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]