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At home with Steve Bruce – Not a pretty sight

4 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce has been talking ahead of his latest home match at St James Park.

Newcastle United taking on Southampton after losing their first three matches of the season.

Already out of the League Cup and in the relegation zone, a positivity boost needed sooner rather than later.

Steve Bruce says (see below) he and his players ‘need to do whatever it takes’ to beat Southampton.

I have been hearing and seeing a lot of comments from Newcastle United fans who are seeing this game as a sure three points.

Yes you have to be hopeful as Southampton are one of our half a dozen or so relegation rivals but I think with Steve Bruce as manager, you can never be confident of anything. Plus as usual, Brucey has came out in advance with his excuses: “I expect a tough game, like they all are [in the Premier League]…’

Listening to Newcastle fans though, I just don’t think they appreciate exactly how woeful NUFC have been under Steve Bruce at home.

In these past eight and a half months, Newcastle United have only won three matches at St James Park.

That’s right, since 12 December 2020, Newcastle have only beat West Ham, Sheffield United and Southampton at home.

That is three victories in fifteen matches at St James Park in that timeframe.

Then when you look at those games, Newcastle were assisted by Southampton having a mad self-destructive first half when they gave away three goals, whilst West Ham did a very similar thing in April as they gave away two goals and had a man sent off before half-time. Whilst the 1-0 over the Blades came a long time after they had already been mathematically guaranteed to be relegated to the Championship.

In the other 12 of 15 games since 12 December 2020, in those games Newcastle United failed to beat Fulham, Leicester, Burnley, Liverpool, West Ham, Man City, Leeds, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Spurs and Arsenal.

Steve Bruce is making a big thing of Freddie Woodman not having a save to make (not until the penalties anyway…) on Wednesday but when a Burnley side turn up with no interest in even trying to score, clearly desperate to be out of the competition as early as possible, it isn’t too difficult. Interesting that Steve Bruce wasn’t so keen to talk about the Villa keeper not having to make a single save last Saturday. Indeed, it is now over four hours of football since Newcastle scored a goal and even on Wednesday they only got three efforts on target against a woeful disinterested Burnley.

I have a feeling Newcastle United may well have to keep a clean sheet as well as beat the keeper at the other end today, these past eight and a half months at St James Park have seen that (a home win AND clean sheet in Premier League) only once and that was the Sheffield United game at the end of last season. Indeed, checking back, these past 19 months (since January 2020) Steve Bruce has only managed that feat on one other occasion, that also against Sheffield United in June 2020. A shame they are in the Championship now…

Steve Bruce speaking ahead of playing Southampton on Saturday:

“Southampton play in a certain way and it will be a decent game against them, that is for sure.

“I expect a tough game, like they all are [in the Premier League], and it’s important that we get a result.

“We’ve got an international break coming up and we’d love to get some points on the board.

“We’ve only played two league games, so it’s still very, very early.

“We’ve had some positive things to come out of those two league games but haven’t got the result, which at the end of the day, is what everybody needs.

“It would be nice to get a result before the break.

“(We need to do) whatever it takes to win a match.

“Certainly, we defended much, much better against Burnley [when losing in the League Cup], that has to be a given if we’re going to get anything out of the Premier League.

“I don’t think Burnley had a shot at our goal the other night, the goalkeeper didn’t make a save. That was really, really pleasing and something that we have to address to make sure we’ve got a chance in the Premier League.

“We can’t keep conceding the way we have done, so it was good to keep a clean sheet the other night.

“It’s probably the worst way to go out, on penalties. There’s a huge disappointment amongst the players, as you would expect.

“For me they didn’t deserve it, they should have went through in 90 minutes, but it didn’t happen and we lost the lottery of a penalty shoot-out.

“We have to accept it but the great thing about football is there is another game tomorrow.

“Let’s hope we can erase it by trying to get a result tomorrow.”

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