Steve Bruce spoke after Newcastle’s vital 2-3 win at West Ham this afternoon. While the performance was dominant, the failure to convert some chances handed the Hammers an undeserved lifeline back into the game.
Not many West Ham fans would have thought they deserved anything from a performance like they had this afternoon. However, they were right there at the end of the game and could have easily rescued a point.
Steve Bruce spoke after the match, and he too touched on the slim margin of the victory. The Chronicle have compiled some of Bruce’s post-match comments.
Bruce had this to say about the performance:
“It’s the best 45 minutes we’ve had while I’ve been manager. We had 2/3 opportunities to kill off the game but the last 15 minutes were a bit hairy. The first-half performance was as good as we’ve played this year.”
The first half was the most dominant we have seen the Magpies under Bruce. In fact, it reminded us a bit of the 0-4 win at Fulham to close last season with the excellent chances created.
Steve will be thrilled with the win as it’s a big one and comes off of a poor result last weekend against Wolves. However, the lack of clinical finishing in front of net could have cost us dearly.
Bruce again mentioned the flurry of chances Newcastle had in the first half, only two of which they were able to convert:
“It should have been 6-0 within an hour. It wouldn’t have been unjust, would it? We had some wonderful opportunities which we didn’t finish, and your worry is ‘Will it come back to bite you?’ which it nearly did.
“I think that would have been a bit unjust, but overall first half in particular, and some of the second half, the one thing you can level against us is we need to be a bit more clinical.”
Bruce was also unhappy about conceding from the corner in the second half. That goal gave West Ham some life as they started to ask a few questions of the Newcastle defense.
They ended up getting a second goal from an excellent Robert Snodgrass strike to make it almost unbearable for the final five minutes.
This is what Steve had to say about West Ham’s first goal and how Newcastle should never have been in the position of having to see out such a close game in the first place:
“If we’re going to be ultra-critical, we’ve given a bad goal away (the first one) I think they understand that. In the first half with the amount of chances we had it could have been four or five.
“We’ve got to be more clinical but you can see they’re a threat and it was good to see them do that today. We’re going to have to do that if we’re going to win games.”
The final score aside, it was a terrific display from the lads as West Ham had few answers for Newcastle’s speed on the counter. Their defense was ill-equipped to handle Newcastle’s pacy wide men especially the full-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron Cresswell who were just over-matched.
However we have to put away our chances when they come. Though at least we had a steady stream of them this game instead of just the one or two we usually create. Bruce was right to be happy about the increased opportunities we created today:
“We’ve created some chances and had some wonderful opportunities. Today was key to that. Almiron, Saint-Maximin and Joelinton were a threat and they can only get better.
“I keep saying you need to give them time to adjust, to Newcastle, to the Premier League and what it takes to play in England. But you can see they’re a threat.”
Let’s hope today was a sign that the front three are getting more accustomed to the league. They were outstanding today. Saint-Maxmin or Almiron just needed to convert one of those chances and it would have been an almost perfect day.
Who Was Newcastle's Man Of The Match At West Ham?
- A. Saint-Maximin (49%, 1,182 )
- Jonjo Shelvey (22%, 530 )
- Miguel Almiron (9%, 224 )
- Federico Fernandez (5%, 119 )
- Jetro Willems (4%, 102 )
- Ciaran Clark (4%, 85 )
- Isaac Hayden (3%, 61 )
- Joelinton (2%, 52 )
- Martin Dubravka (1%, 25 )
- Andy Carroll (1%, 14 )
- Jamaal Lascelles (0%, 10 )
- DeAndre Yedlin (0%, 7 )
- Paul Dummett (0%, 6 )
- Christian Atsu (0%, 5 )
Total Voters: 2,422