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Steve Bruce Is Delighted With Player In ‘Rich Vein Of Form’

A delighted Steve Bruce has spoken after Thursday night’s terrific result. The lads defended very well, especially in the second half. But it was an enormous effort from our goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to keep us in the game early on.

Making his 65th straight start for the Magpies, Martin was able to keep the Blades from scoring as he secured his 4th clean sheet of the season.

It took an uncharacteristic header from Allan Saint-Maximin against the run of play to give Newcastle an early lead. They built on that with the bizarre Jonjo Shelvey goal. Though Jonjo did precisely what he should have.

While it could be seen as harsh on Sheffield United, they should have continued to play as referee Stuart Atwell had not blown his whistle.

But it was the superb display from our Man of the Match against Manchester City, Martin Dubravka, that deserves some recognition.

This is what Steve Bruce had to say about the defense and his in-form keeper.

We have to admit we were a little concerned early in the second half when Dubravka took a blow to his thigh and was limping. During that passage of play, the 30-year-old was still able to make an excellent save on a shot heading for the top corner.

Martin received a bit of treatment a few minutes later and was able to continue. He remained awake as Sheffield United continued to try to find a breakthrough that never came.

We thought it was going to be one of those nights with Martin under so much pressure both before and after the opening goal. But he and the defenders held strong and it’s another three points on the board.

Who Was The Man Of The Match At Sheffield United?

  • Martin Dubravka (75%, 1,782 )
  • Jonjo Shelvey (6%, 132 )
  • Federico Fernandez (5%, 121 )
  • A. Saint-Maximin (5%, 108 )
  • Andy Carroll (3%, 68 )
  • Ciaran Clark (2%, 59 )
  • Javier Manquillo (2%, 56 )
  • Isaac Hayden (1%, 28 )
  • Miguel Almiron (1%, 12 )
  • Joelinton (0%, 6 )
  • Christian Atsu (0%, 6 )
  • Jetro Willems (0%, 5 )
  • Paul Dummett (0%, 5 )

Total Voters: 2,388

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18 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 5, 2019 at 11:51 PM

    Comment #1

    And the bus moved!

    Pleased to say that the missus is still talking to me, so no shed tonight!

    I was shouting at the Screen for Jonjo to keep going as well as at the 6 minutes extra time and loved his reaction as he was walking back he might be lacking a wee bit of pace but his football brain more than makes up for that.

    Winning the way we did can only engender confidence in the players and if they can keep it up we will see them getting more possession as the season unfolds and better wins.

  • lochinvar

    Dec 5, 2019 at 11:58 PM

    Comment #2

    Match stats show that we only conceded 6 fouls tonight, Sheffield United 10.
    Only 6 fouls away from home when under pressure suggests that the discipline and work rate of the team in defence is solid.
    The likes of Man Ure would be throwing themselves to the ground crying foul and fouling to stop breakaway from defence moves all to easily and all too often.
    6 fouls only, is that a record low for a Premier league match ?

  • lochinvar

    Dec 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #3

    Essex GB
    Do you have kippers for christmas lunch ?
    Or just save them for takeover celebrations ?

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 6, 2019 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #4

    Lol, have to admit I’d forgotten about my vow, with Ashlie seemingly permanently ensconced at St James Park.

    But should the day ever arrive that he leaves then the Kippers will definitely get an airing. 🙂

    Xmas day is always turkey in our house. 😉

  • The Wife

    Dec 6, 2019 at 12:11 AM

    Comment #5

    Wow! Just got settled, watched the highlights (the goals) and quickly skimmed the blog to get caught up. I guess it’s good to be lucky, eh? And good on Jonjo for not giving up on the play. Quite a surreal moment, I’m sure, for the Sheffield players when that was called a good goal,, LOL! Sounds like Dubs had a phenomenal game as well.

    They’ve got to keep it going on Sunday for sure!

  • lesh

    Dec 6, 2019 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #7

    If any of you folks are wondering where Jib is, whether he’s suffered the same fate as IrishRob, worry not.

    If he’s banned it’s a front, cover for a high level special assignment – coaching Ptrum and his toady Nohnsoj in the finer points of telling porkies.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 6, 2019 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #8

    The Wife

    It was nice to see a decision by a ref actually work in our favour, I think I’d give him a 6/10 for today cos he did still let SU kick seven bells out of our lads. Having said that our lads got away with some but not as many.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 6, 2019 at 1:23 AM

    Comment #9

    Lesh you’re not trying to open that can of worms again, all of our esteemed politicians tell porkies, do you really believe that Nybroc is some sort of knight in shining armour riding in to save the British nation. I think not!

  • NY Mag

    Dec 6, 2019 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #10


    I saw the score, but not the game – was it a decent performance?

  • Mister Tuff

    Dec 6, 2019 at 1:42 AM

    Comment #11

    Great result – not expected – but very valuable 3 points.

    Could be a decent Christmas if Agent Cob gets the nod. He’ll go after Mr Tubbs and seize his company and nationalise it.
    Not just that – a free car and £6,700 notes. Always liked the bloke.

  • Scythe For Bruce

    Dec 6, 2019 at 1:50 AM

    Comment #12

    Nicky – cheers for posting the interview with Carroll and Shelvey earlier. Nice to see them both having a bit of banter and some positivity. Can’t wait for the game on Sunday now!

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 6, 2019 at 2:04 AM

    Comment #13

    Any team with a lot of pace can get SU in trouble, I guessed. Didn’t realise that could even happen with SU defenders being largely in shape. While the way we won the match may largely be a fluke and outstanding goalkeeping the goals were not flukes. They came when we went wide and landed a cross or when we went direct. My argument is therefore that even with what we have, with a proper and logical team setup we could start riding on our strengths than on others misfortune. Unfortunately, we are still reliant of being blown by the wind. Have to learn to fly by flapping the wings at some point.

  • Scythe For Bruce

    Dec 6, 2019 at 2:06 AM

    Comment #14

    Seeing Shelvey’s goal, Wilder blamed the linesman (and I can understand why) but he’ll be fuming at his lads in the dressing room for not playing to the whistle. It’s one of the absolute basic things you’re taught and they’ve switched off.

    Also, can refs book players for playing on and slamming the ball into the net if the linesman has his flag up? I’d say not any more. After tonight the players have every right to do so. The ref can’t decide to book a player for doing that even if VAR concludes that they were offside all along.

    The game really is changing. Not sure if I like it, but times change and the game moves on I suppose.

  • Scythe For Bruce

    Dec 6, 2019 at 2:09 AM

    Comment #15

    After seeing Manq’s cross it’s a shame that Ritchie is still out. Having Carroll waiting in the box (and apparently ASM too with his gazelle jump) we’d bag a few that way before the season is over. I hope he’s back soon but I haven’t kept up with his recovery progress so far.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Dec 6, 2019 at 2:23 AM

    Comment #16

    Yeah, when you can deliver a ball like Ritchie and Manquillo then you don’t need to go past your man, you can just swing them in from deeper positions, so they are both real options at wing back. The critical thing for us when we play Carroll is that he gets crosses to attack and players running off his shoulder, in the way Shelvey did for his goal, when we knock it in long to him. We need players in and around him looking to pick up the second ball and his flick ons. The tactic will work for Joelinton too. Willems and Yedlin offer something a bit different, mostly pace, they can get further up the pitch, get into the box, but both Manquillo and Ritchie also have plenty to offer us, and probably help us be a little more balanced going both ways.

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 6, 2019 at 2:26 AM

    Comment #17

    Thee ref understood perfectly the implications of VAR but the linesman didn’t. Since the goal was to be under scrutiny afterwards anyway, why blow the whistle?

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 6, 2019 at 2:33 AM

    Comment #18

    Yes Nicky, exactly! Why we’re going narrow with our speed (Almiron, Saint Maximin, Willems, Yedlin) and the strength in sending through balls (Schär, Lejeune and Shelvey) baffles me. We are weak in sending pint pointed aerials, though. But why that couldn’t be drilled in?


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