Bruce Confirms Three New Knocks As He Commends Improved Performance Despite Defeat – The Newcastle United Blog

Bruce Confirms Three New Knocks As He Commends Improved Performance Despite Defeat – The Newcastle United Blog

Steve Bruce has spoken to the press after tonight’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester City. Bruce was not happy with the soft goals but is pleased his team never folded.

Here is a tweet from the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder.

The Shields Gazette’s Miles Starforth added the following from Bruce.

It’s as tough of a fixture there will be this year and the lads did better than expected. While that’s a poor reflection for a team like Newcastle United, that’s where the club is at the moment.

With a squad that is clearly capable of better than has been on offer, the goalposts appear to be moving once again. Bruce made the following statement as tweeted by the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards.

Bruce is not wrong but this squad should be pushing for the top ten and that was the stated goal to start this season. After tonight’s defeat we are still in 12th but continue to drift further away from what any reasonable fan would call progress – a top ten Premier League finish.

Tonight was the start of three difficult matches. A complete drubbing could have seen the heat become almost too much for Bruce. But a combination of a committed performance, excellent goalkeeping, and a less than ruthless Manchester City has seen us lose just 2-0.

Manchester City had 74% of the possession with 859 passes on the evening. They were dominant but Newcastle were able to disrupt them enough to keep the score close. Both Isaac Hayden and Matty Longstaff were pests in the midfield while the back three of Schar, Fernandez, and Clark threw themselves about all night long.

Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez were back in the starting lineup while Javier Manquillo returned to the bench. However, Callum Wilson was left out of the starting eleven while Ryan Fraser and Jonjo Shelvey did not make the trip.

Bruce has confirmed that all three were suffering from knocks. For Wilson, it was a sore ankle that saw him not play for just the second time in the Premier League this season. Both Fraser and Shelvey were left behind due to groin strains.

Miles Starforth tweeted the following about Shelvey and Wilson.

He also confirmed the groin problem for Fraser.

Bruce now has more injuries to contend with though we suspect Wilson could have played if needed. However, Shelvey and Fraser could be doubts for Liverpool on Wednesday.

A few players returned this evening including Fabian Schar who Bruce says was determined to play. Here is a tweet from injury analyst Ben Dinnery about Schar.

We could see Jamaal Lascelles becoming available soon but we also haven’t heard why Paul Dummett hasn’t been part of the squad for the past two matches. We hope the defender hasn’t suffered a setback since returning last week after almost a year away.

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