Newcastle picked up their first point of the campaign with a draw against Southampton before the international break. The lads twice squandered a lead through panicked defending including giving a penalty away in the match’s final moments.
While a point is better than nothing, a draw is a disappointing result despite the dreadful first-half performance. Newcastle’s defensive woes have been on full display this season.
Next on the docket is a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United this Saturday. The Red Devils are undefeated and put five past Leeds in their opening match. So if Newcastle don’t sort themselves out at the back it could be another painful afternoon.
Steve Bruce will hopefully provide a positive injury update this week. He held both Isaac Hayden and Paul Dummett back against the Saints. With an additional two weeks of recovery, both should be available on Saturday. That could help shore up the defense.
It could be just Martin Dubravka and Jonjo Shelvey that remain on the injured list. There was a report last week that Karl Darlow will be available this week after his bout with Covid.
Whether Bruce will make a change at goalkeeper is unclear, though that is a potential option with us conceding so many goals. Freddie Woodman has been offered little protection so it may be harsh on the 24-year-old to drop him just yet.
Callum Wilson was withdrawn in the second half against The Saints with a thigh problem. However, it doesn’t appear to be a serious one and he should be ok for the match this weekend.
However, we’ll likely be without Miguel Almiron, who faces a ban due to his exclusion from the Paraguay squad. That could give Sean Longstaff another opportunity in the midfield. The local lad got the nod against Southampton and put in a decent shift.
Hopefully, there are no fresh injury concerns and the presence of Paul Dummett on the left side of the back three can make some difference. We’ll need all the help we can get to keep the match on Saturday close.