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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

  • Not another deJong

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #121


    The other couple of little cameos were, Jones squeezing Fraser before he came on the pitch and his none reaction to Bruce, who was declaring to the team of coaches when he wanted Joelinton to cover the right hand side of the pitch when Carroll was going on.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #122

    Just scanning the blog and it looks like we haven’t kept our quota of wacky conspiracy theories up. This is clearly in contravention of the Online Posting Quality Act 2015 (Hanks’ Law) so in order for us not to fall found of the authorities (Lizard Overlords) I have come up with this one, it’s hastily done as the deadline is midnight) –

    How do you replace a poor football coach with one of equal or better value when your track record is not in the interests of such individuals to entertain employment by you? The answer is, you probably can’t. Therefore you will need to appoint someone of capable quality from a career path around the lower divisions who will overlook the obvious difficulties of working under this owner.

    However this leads to another problem – if the present coach is already low bar, none of his peers, although fitting the remit, would likely be willing to have their career ritually slaughtered in the same way as the current occupant.

    Therefore your next coach needs to be someone capable but with little or no managerial experience willing to do anything to take a shot in a higher league, much earlier than they might have thought possible.

    The answer might be to replace the current coach with such a keen individual, however, lowering the standard to that extenton one fell swoop would certainly raise alarm beyond pr-manageable capabilities. The key then is good old expectation management.

    Answer? Bring in said prospective new incumbent as “Assistant” to the current one. Allow the season to unravel as it appears to be doing, and whatever happens, fire present coach at end of season, and place “Assistant” in “Temporary Charge” (known as “Carvering”).

    If still in premiership, target Bruce – Level coach to come in at leisure while seeing if Temp Coach actually works well enough to “steady the ship”.

    If in championship, do the same but after about a month be “pleased to announce” the Temp Coach has been promoted to Head Coach.

    Everybody wins.

    Needs some polish but I think there’s some leg room in that for a decent well rounded CT.

  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #123

    That’s how I see it but the lack of action from above scares me. Just don’t get it, next week will the silence be as deafening or have they already given up and will just come out with COVID as the excuse. Amid the delusion that we will again come straight back up.

  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #124

    Shoulders knees

    Bet he had a good laugh with him about 5 seconds after it too.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #125

    So Bill’s,
    Bruce never got to stick it right up us after all, not in your sense of the meaning anyway 😕

  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #126


    I think i missed those ones, tbh after their second goal I was only half paying attention. I don’t think Jones will prove to be this amazing saviour we all hoped he would, but if I was a player there I know who’s i’d be listening to right now. Speaks volumes that not only is he the only coach we’ve seen barking out actual instructions and looking animated on the sideline (although clearly something has happened to stop him from doing that now), but he’s also seen actively showing our other ‘coaches’ things and them looking lost. It’s like he’s been brought in to try and teach everyone there and be a 1 man saving crew. It’s insane. This whole club makes no sense the ways it’s run and set up. It’s criminal that it’s been allowed to function like this for so long.

  • lochinvar

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #127

    Just noted that there’s a lad on Twitter name of Paul Oxley. Some might know him and of his Dad who has sadly passed away after cancer.

    Clearly of the faith and staunch black and white fans. Those who have it within them and never let go of their support through thick and thin.

    My thoughts are with them.
    I don’t know the family but maybe we were in SJP at the same time and shared some memorable moments.

    It’s an old fashioned notion but I doff my hat as his Dad goes by.


  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #128

    Oh I think Mr Bruce is doing a very fine job of sticking it right up us. 😐

    Just not in the way prophesied.

  • onmeedsun

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #129

    You ok I hope.
    Following this muppet show is seriously affecting my behaviour. I am not an overly aggressive person but watching the inevitable decline this season has taken me to breaking point. If it’s to go on like this I’d prefer the club to not exist.
    And we can do nothing to get rid of Ashley.
    I’ve boycotted whole seasons, walked out of matches, done the lot but it’s all pointless.
    No one will give him the money he thinks the club is worth as it isn’t. Just look at where we are.
    He deserves to lose the lot, but he won’t. He’ll just sit on feeding it enough to keep it alive. In the meantime we just have to watch his appalling stewardship. I have no faith in any of the mgt team and most of the players. The whole sorry lot need to go so we can start again. And I’d accept any division if we could be rid of Ashley. I despise him and honestly wish the worst things imaginable to happen to him. But he could well outlive me and I’m not going to spend the rest of my life watching the abuse, as that’s what it is.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #130

    I think the lie that Bruce was trying to sell about the second half being something like a good bit of regrouping is that I bet everyone watching it knew for certain they could not see us scoring a goal.

  • Carson80

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #131

    Sorry Hibbit just realised that. Basically it tells you of all the companies they have invested in and how they aren’t expecting any return investment for years on some of their purchases. Newcastle are mentioned in there as well albeit briefly. IMO I don’t think the PIF will be bothered if we get relegated by the amount they’re chucking at some companies. I think this season is end game for Ashley, no contracts being renewed (barring Clarke I think). Funn88 sponsorship was for a one year extension. Also think Ashley will get his money for the club in other ways ie promised advertisement ( formula 1, WWE and boxing all likely to take place there in the foreseeable) and also premises for masses of his tat shops.

  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #132

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Ashley wants part of the deal to include a statue of him outside the park giving us all the middle finger.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #133


    Hit the nail on the head its like Bruce is watching a different game from anyone else!

    Pundits generally like to make out that fans as a whole know less than the pros who have played at the top level which is utter nonsense

    Any fan of a football team will have at least watched 1000s of games so has a basic knowledge of different styles and tactics purely by being exposed to them

    I wonder if we would have been better with defeat at Everton and Palace Bruce would possibly have been sacked by now

  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #134

    Shoulders anything is possible under Ashley but i think he’s in for a big surprise if he thinks the fans are just going to roll back up and support Bruce and everything that’s gone on will just be forgiven,
    Also money is going to be very tight for a lot of people next season which will be another problem the club under Ashley will have to get over,
    people wont be wasting money watching Bruce’s type of football,

  • Wor B

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #135

    Adam #132

    Haha, A statue of Ashley flipping the finger, brilliant.

    I wouldn’t mind actually, just imagine the pleasure derived from tearing it down and dragging it through the toon and dumping it in the Tyne. 😀

  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #136

    Wor B
    I’ve got an old JCB which i’d gladly lend you 😀

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #137

    People don’t forget. Bruce’s comments, emboldened each week with the fact that there’s nobody in the stadium and the journos that are allowed to ask him questions do so have to do it via a raised hand system so can’t follow up on any of his increasingly ludicrous statements. His comments have made him the worst Ashley patsy out of the lot of them and people aren’t going to let that go. Especially if Ashley thinks it’s clever to extend his contract.

  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #138

    Wor b

    haha that’s a good point! Be nice to see the creative amounts of graffiti people could do it 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #139

    They put shearers statue on the site of the old public bog because nufc didn’t want or have anything to do with it, however its a decent spot and well visible. Perhaps for Steve they could build a urinal and put a piñata of him hanging over it?

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #140

    Then we could all truly aim for something higher…

  • toon22

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #141

    Sadly it’s all too predictable the mess we’re in
    Stupidity and greed the mainstay of our owner

  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #142

    “We were excellent in the second half” – note to self look up excellent in dictionary

    Apparently he was aware of the problems chelsea caused us but wait till half time to change it and then the inevitable 64min subs (sorry 62 – panic measure)


  • Sleepy Koala

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #143

    He’s truly such a horrid head coach, and i laughed when palace paid us for pardew…


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