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Bruce Hopes Second Half ‘Spirit’ Will Carry Through Remainder Of The Season



Newcastle’s record at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era is not good to put it plainly. Other than 2012 with the two super strikes from Papiss Cisse, Newcastle generally come up empty-handed. Last night was no different.

The first half was particularly disappointing as Newcastle started the match a little too passively. Chelsea showed their class with an emphasis down our exposed flanks, leaving Newcastle reeling and down 2 goals at the half. It really could have been 3 or 4.

The second half was an improvement though we lacked a cutting edge. Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Joe Willock were just not able to reproduce their exploits from a week ago against his superior Chelsea side.

Steve Bruce was buoyed by the improved second-half display but rued his side’s inability to deal with the Blues in the first. Here are some of his take aways from the match as published in The Chronicle:

“We were excellent in the second half and in the first half we found it very difficult.

“The way they played, the system they had, the two inside forwards – we didn’t deal with it well enough.

“Second half we got to grips with it and we were more aggressive – a lot of positives. The first half was very difficult for us.

“With 10-15 minutes to go, we can ask a question. We’re disappointed with the first half if I’m being brutally honest. We got back in the game in the second half.”

The defeat does little to assuage growing relegation fears on Tyneside. While Newcastle are still seven points above 18th placed Fulham, we are rightfully concerned when in this precarious position in the table. Two relegations under Mike Ashley have removed any benefit of the doubt.

If Bruce is concerned, he’s not showing any outward signs of distress. He believes that if Newcastle continue to play like they did over the past few matches, and the second half last night, that they should be ok by the end of the season.

Here is what he said when asked about being dragged into a relegation fight:

“I expect a fight from us, there’s six, seven, or eight teams in the bottom half with a long way to go and a lot of games to play.

“If we show that spirit like we did in that second half we’ll be alright.”

Newcastle should be nowhere near the position they are in. They have squandered opportunity after opportunity to have a comfortable season. Now we are in a fight for safety without the one player we could not afford to lose in Callum Wilson.

Last night was not a fixture to pick up points in, but wasted opportunities this season placed extra importance on this match. The lads showed some fight in the second half in what was likely a lost cause.

Now it’s on to Old Trafford against Manchester United, who have been hit or miss against the bottom half of the table. Hopefully, the lads will come out inspired and ready to fight from the opening whistle as there’s not much hope we’ll have a seven-point cushion over Fulham by kick-off on Sunday.

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143 comments so far

  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #81

    magicmac,

    You make a very good point about us no longer being his cash cow if we are no longer in the PL, but the only reason i don`t think he would sell while we are down in the lower leagues is i don`t think Ashley will be prepared to lower his asking price by at least 100M.
    I think there would be plenty of wannabe buyers wanting to us on the cheap but Ashley is too greedy to even give them a hearing, could be wrong mind, who knows.

    4
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #82

    If Bruce keeps us up, PIF get to buy us and replace him with Rafa

    If Bruce relegates us, he gets to keep us job in the Championship

    Can you see why he is so apathetic about us and smiles every time we lose? It is in his best interests to relegate us.

    9
  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #83

    NADJ

    I remember that during the match, Jones showing one of the Steves the screen and pointing at stuff and then facing to talk him. The Steve looking completely bewildered like a toddler being taught maths for the first time. It really does feel like Jones has gone in there to nanny the coaching staff. It’s like he’s teaching them how to walk. I imagine trying to teach them attacking football is as infuriating as trying to eat soup with a fork.

    10
  • onmeedsun

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #84

    Bit of a watershed moment then if true.
    Stay up and we can all move on into the bright new world.
    Get relegated and the whole shit show will implode on itself and I get a life ban for invading the pitch!

    4
  • magicmac54

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #85

    WLtoon

    I guess we are all stupid to try and second guess Ashley`s true intentions as logic and Ashley goes out the window as he hasn`t a clue when it comes to football. What shift are you on today fella.

    0
  • onmeedsun

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #86

    And none of us allowed in to influence proceedings.
    Please wake me up at the end of May and let me know what happened.

    1
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #87

    Jamesthefirst,

    Ok, i haven`t seen the Wraith show due to work but i still think these sources are just a word journo`s use to justify their own point of view, anyway lets hope there is some substance in what he has said.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #88

    Speaking of our poor throw in tactics and tying it in with players we’ve discarded, just want to mention Ben Tozer!

    3
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #89

    Would also not surprise me if Ashley is just waiting on compo from the FA and will then just carry on owning us normal trousering the money keeping the fakeover news for another few years with Bruce at the club saying “well Sunderland have got a billionaire owner we did well to keep it 3 nil” or “Barnsley are a tough outfit I was encouraged by our 2nd half performance” while we are balls deep in the champo

    6
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #90

    We don’t have the ‘Manager’ with the guile or tactic nous to keep us up.

    The ONLY thing that keeps us in the PL is Fulham’s form. If they continue to pick up points we are in big trouble. If their form falls off, then we will stay up.

    Fulham v Burnely tomorrow night is a HUGE game for NUFC. It is one of Fulham’s must one wins to catch us.

    1
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #91

    magicmac,

    We cannot guess what Ashley will do next but i think we all know of his greed, his love for money, and that is why i doubt he would sell if we are not in the PL.
    I think he would be lucky to get 200M for the club, but hey, what do we know.

    I`m on late shift this week mac, start at 2.30pm. A really unsociable shift imo,

    1
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #92

    Fulham play Burnley tomorrow and Sheff Utd at the weekend. Win both as they should, then the gap is just 1 point before we kick off against Man Utd on Sunday.

    2
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #93

    Doubt if any of us were too surprised at losing to Chelksi, as i was watching the game my missus said what do you expect they are a bigger club.

    My reply was that, no they aren’t they just have a sugar daddy owner who is actually a fan as well.

    4
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #94

    I,m hoping Burnley will see tomorrows game as the game that will see them clear of Fulham once and for all, so i think Fulham will do well to win that game, and Burnley are playing very well atm,

    1
  • magicmac54

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #95

    Onmeedsun

    Good afternoon fella, i can see with the tone of your posts you also have had enough, and i know your a good loyal fan, you can only stretch peoples patience so far then there will be a huge explosion, i have no doubt thats were all the fans are now, i can see it all getting very volatile and messy

    1
  • John Tudor

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #96

    on yer bike brucie i saw no spirit

    3
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #97

    Are Fulham all of a sudden the best team in the league? Blimey, you would think they were Barcelona judging by some of the posts on here.
    They have won 3 games all season, 3, they beat a crap Everton side, same as us, same score line, yet now they are going to beat most that come against them, oh sorry , i forgot, they have signed the world class Maja.
    i am quite relaxed about us staying up, why, because i think we will.

    1
  • magicmac54

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #98

    WLtoon

    I know you will probably be leaving for work soon, but when you have more time you can watch the whole match of the 2002 All Ireland final Armagh v Kerry on youtube, just type in Armagh 2002 and you can see the whole match WLtoon, ive no doubt youl enjoy it mate

    1
  • lesh

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #99

    Jamesthefirst

    What you’re saying makes some sense but if it were the case that PIF would be banking on Rafa to avoid relegation, Ashley’s done absolutely nothing of any significance to avoid the drop.

    Yes, Jones’s come in but why? If he was brought in a Bruce’s request, then it would seem he’s not making best use of him. Is Bruce, the root of our situation, taking Jones’s ideas on board? Has he integrated Jones into the planning, training and coaching structure? Comments from posters who’ve referred to interpersonal behaviour in our technical area suggests not. If that is the case, why hasn’t somebody banged some heads together?

    As said, it seems that whoever’s running the club on Ashley’s behalf’s been either negligent or incompetent in which case he or they should be sacked.

    But there doesn’t appear to be any signs of the determination to avoid the drop one would’ve expected so why?

    Could it be that the arbitration hearing’s gone against Ashley’s wishes? Could it be it hasn’t happened or isn’t finished yet? In either case, particularly the latter, one would have expected to take steps to ensure Prem survival – but he hasn’t, he’s gambling again.

    It’s a strange situation and for the life of me, I can’t understand what Ashley’s playing at. Does he know?

    4
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #100

    EGB@93,

    Manure won`t be any better either from our point of view, just lets see how we fare in the games after that before we start shouting for the men in a white coats.

    1
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #101

    Lesh,

    i`m off in a mo, but i think Ashley just looks at the table and sees the points gap and is not concerned atm, i honestly think he thinks we will be ok , it`s not until we are in the bottom 3 that i think he would wake up, he is that clueless about football mate.

    Right, off to work.

    0
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #102

    magicmac,

    Will do mate.

    1
  • Bills Son Is Back

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #103

    I switched over to watch Devon & Cornwall as soon as the second goal went in.

    There was a time not that long ago when, even if we were 3-0 down with 10 minutes to go, I still believed we could get a draw.

    I never go for a pint at SJP before the first half is over and never leave before the final whistle no matter what the score.

    Now, I’m switching off and over when we are 2-0 down in the first half.

    The first time I’m ever been so pi$$ed off to do that in nigh on 60 years of watching the Toon.

    Says it all.

    Bruce HAS to go.

    We are sleep walking to relegation.

    16
  • lesh

    Feb 16, 2021 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #104

    WLtoon

    No, Fulham are not a Barcelona but what they appear to be, like Burnley, Brighton, Palace, Sheffield Utd and WBA, are teams playing as teams with enthusiasm and determination whereas we don’t appear to be.

    For all the confidence that we’ll avoid the drop, could that not be based on hope, optimism and delusion that under Bruce’s coaching our players’ll show the same fighting spirit as the other relegaton candidates?

    Rafa’s available at the end of a phone but will Ashley make the call before it’s too late? I doubt it.

    1
  • Reilly

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #105

    IMO i dont think we are close to being sold,i think its along way off,even further if we go down.

    6
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #106

    Man Utd have been soundly beaten off Sheffield United and outplayed for large spells against Fulham and West Brom recently we have to be able to try get a result

    A decent manager would be looking at their games to see whats going wrong:

    Deny Rashford and Greenwood space to run in behind
    Make sure Fernandez doesn’t get the freedom of the pitch

    1
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #107

    Put a striker inbetween Maguire and Lindelof as they are useless!

    0
  • lesh

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #108

    Bills Son Is Back

    Those west country programmes are very watchable. If you haven’t, have a look at the BBC’s series on Cornish fishermen and you might just see their delight at how leaving the EU has lived up to the promises they were fed.

    The point I was aiming at is that given the TV coverage Devon and Cornwall have been getting of late, one could be forgiven thinking that the those Counties’ Tourism departments have been paying for some err, nice lunches, even in these times of lockdowns!

    0
  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #109

    Lesh from last night ,
    it’s only the pub kitchen that’s open for take away’s, nowt else, 😥

    1
  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #110

    I think out of us and Fulham fans, they’re the ones feeling confident right now. Which considering they’re 7 points behind us currently, says a lot. Our only hope is that some individual performances from the likes of Almiron, ASM and Wilson when he’s back, means we pick up the odd draw and lucky win. Our only other hope is that Fulham struggle to score. I know Maja got 2 the other night but it’s too soon to know if he’ll be the answer to their goal scoring problems. If they had a natural goal scorer like Wilson in from the start of the season, our places would probably be reversed and we’d be in the bottom 3 adrift by 7 points.

    1
  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #111

    Bill’s your not alone 🙁

    3
  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #112

    Bruce apparently gave Krafth an ‘earbashing’ last night. I can’t imagine that at all, even if he was angry I don’t think anyone would take him seriously. Also, if it’s true then god knows why he singled out Krafth. Yes he was poor, but no worse than the rest of the squad last night.

    6
  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #113

    Adamn
    I bet Bruce was smiling as he did it

    5
  • magicmac54

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #114

    Bills son is Back@103

    Good afternoon Bill, that was an amazing post, you have been a life long and loyal Newcastle fan for over 60 years, and when a supporter of your credentials says he has never been as pissed of in 60 years, i guess that really speaks all volumes of where our club is at this moment.

    3
  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #116

    Right COVID has wrecked many lives and businesses and not trying to be flippant about it. Where would we be without it , the team I mean would we be in this mess. Bruce would have been long gone surely? Can we blame this mess on COVID to a degree? Or is it totally done to 14 years of neglect.

    0
  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #117

    Carson80
    that article is behind a paywall, we cannot read it ??

    0
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #118

    @lesh – the silence from Ashley will be because he is very confident the takeover will go through in the next month. Then relegation won’t be his problem anymore

    Jones is a cheap stop gap. He was recommended by Graham Carr to Ashley. Bruce was not informed and knew nothing about it. Both Kennedy and NCSL said that.

    The hearing date has not been set yet. Most likely a deal will be struck outside of that that suits all parties.

    3
  • Bills Son Is Back

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #119

    lesh,

    After Devon & Cornwall I switched straight over to watch This Fishing Life, been watching the whole series. Brilliant.

    Magic,

    I didn’t want to say that myself but you’ve nailed it.

    I never ever thought I would lose the passion or that gutted feeling when we lose a game.

    I lost both because, unlike in Rafa’s bad spells when I always believed he’d turn it round, I have not a shred of belief that Bruce can.

    We make the same mistakes time, and time, and time again.

    Once instance, HOW does Lewis get a game in front of a fit Dummett???

    WHY did it take so long to play Miggy in his best position???

    WHAT the fk are the coaching staff doing about our atrocious throw ins that so many fans have mentioned???

    WHY is Darlow STILL lumping the ball sky high when when Miggy and Gayle are up front when even Wilson doesn’t win that many???

    How MANY times does Krafth have to ball watch and leave someone free at the far post before he’s told to watch his man???

    WHY does Shelvey take 90% of the free kicks around the box when he’s been nowhere near scoring for ages???

    I could go on…

    But I’ll just get myself even more pi$$ed off.

    Bruce says we’ll be OK if we play like we did in the second half?

    We’d be OK if he just left. Now.

    11
  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #120

    Shoulders
    i’m sure covid has a impact on Bruce still here, i think if fans were in the ground he would have been long gone,
    But the underlying problem in all of this is 14years of Ashley and his puppets 😕

    3


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