This is the team that Bruce selected for the 0-0 draw against Norwich City, including the three second-half substitutes.
Here are our individual player ratings for the match.
Martin Dubravka – 8
- Dubravka was outstanding against Norwich on Saturday in claiming his 7th clean sheet this term. Once again, he made the saves to keep Newcastle in the game. It started early for the Slovakian with a reaction save on a header from Sam Byram on a fifth-minute Norwich corner. Martin made another excellent save on a blistering Teemu Pukki shot in the 16th minute. Then in the 72nd minute, he did well to save another Pukki effort after a Jamaal Lascelles error led to a one-on-one.
DeAndre Yedlin – 3
- This was not the type of performance DeAndre Yedlin should be putting in with Valentino Lazaro coming in last week. The American found plenty of space down the right flank and proved a good outlet. However, his touch and deliveries were pathetic. He had one good cross in the 20th minute that found Joelinton in the box. Bruce pulled him for Lazaro early in the second half.
Federico Fernandez – 8
- Fernandez was our best defender on the day. He made some crucial clearances and interceptions. Fede made a fantastic last gasp effort on a Pukki breakaway in the 28th minute. The Argentine also did well moving the ball forward despite his limitations and put in a few crosses. He should have done better on a late Matt Ritchie corner which he tamely headed over the crossbar.
Jamaal Lascelles – 6
- Our captain was suspect at times in this one. He made a howler in the 72nd minute when he controlled a long ball in front of the box only to pass it straight to Teemu Pukki, who ended up through on goal. Lascelles did have a lot of clearances, but they often resulted in more opportunities for Norwich. He also struggled to contain Pukki, who on a better night, could have had another hat trick. That being said, Jamaal marshaled a defense that held out for a clean sheet.
Ciaran Clark – 7
- It was a typical Ciaran Clark display on Saturday. The 30-year-old threw himself about to block shots and make clearances. Ciaran did very well to recover with a sliding goal-line clearance after Dubravka’s save on a Pukki effort bounced off him and was goalbound.
Matt Ritchie – 6
- Ritchie struggled a bit against Norwich. He was beaten a few times defensively, but Ciaran Clark did well to cover for him. His lack of explosion going forward is very apparent compared to what Willems brought to the team. However, his passion is always there, and he did much better in possession than many of his teammates.
Nabil Bentaleb – 6
- Our new midfielder had another decent performance as he works his way back to match fitness. He was able to last the full 90 minutes but faded late. Nabil made some tidy passes and will only get better with more time on the pitch. Bentaleb showed a bit of his aggression with a late challenge on Emi Buendia that earned him a yellow.
Isaac Hayden – 5
- Hayden had a tough afternoon dealing with an attack-minded Norwich midfield. He did well winning the ball at times and made some crisp tackles. However, he showed little inclination to move the team forward. Isaac was replaced by Sean Longstaff in the second half.
Miguel Almiron – 5
- Almiron was a willing runner all afternoon, but it didn’t amount to much. He had the best chance on the day and should have scored when he headed a rebound from a Tim Krul save wide in the 20th minute. Miguel also didn’t track Sam Byrum on a 58th-minute corner which the Norwich defender got on the end of, but his downward header bounced over the goal.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 8
- We hope that Valentino Lazaro can have a similar impact down the right to complement Allan’s threat on the left. The Frenchman is so direct and created a fair few chances against Norwich. His runs scared the daylights out of Norwich’s defenders as he often drew 2-3 players his way. He had a terrific effort in the 68th minute that Krul’s outstretched reach just managed to tip wide of the post for a corner. Allan gets hacked down a lot and is still adjusting to the physicality of the Premier League. Our already minimal threat on the break practically disappeared when he was brought off in the 78th minute for Danny Rose. However, he was shattered, so Bruce had little option but to make the change.
Joelinton – 7
- Joelinton maintained possession very well and dominated his aerial duels. However, he was again far too isolated and had no chances other than an early header that went straight to Krul. He took an ill-advised shot after a pass from Bentaleb in the 56th minute but could have sent Almiron through on his right if he’d passed instead.
Valentino Lazaro – 7
- We were surprised that Valentino did not get a start against Norwich. However, he made his Newcastle debut coming on for Yedlin early in the second half. He looked a bit tentative going forward but was very composed on the ball. What impressed us most was his defensive awareness and positioning. We think he’ll get more adventurous going forward with a few more games under his belt.
Sean Longstaff – 7
- Sean Longstaff came on for Isaac Hayden close to the 60-minute mark and was much more proficient on the ball. Sean looked more assured than against Oxford where his confidence seemed shot.
Danny Rose – n/a
- Rose made his Newcastle debut coming on for Allan Saint-Maximin in the 79th minute. Not on the pitch long enough for a rating.