Newcastle will head into next Saturday’s opening game of the season at West Ham on the back of two straight defeats against Championship opposition, with Stoke City coming away from St James’ Park 1-0 winners in today’s final pre-season friendly.
Sam Clucas scored the only goal of the game in the first half, although we missed a host of decent chances, with Jacob Murphy firing straight at Jack Butland after being put clean through in the second half.
Here’s the starting 11, the players that featured from the bench and some video ‘highlights’ from the game, along with the 14 players who were nowhere to be seen in Steve Bruce’s squad:
NUFC XI (4-2-3-1): Darlow – Yedlin Fernandez, Hayden, Manquillo – Barlaser, Sean Longstaff – Murphy, Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Carroll.
2nd half appearances: Joelinton, Atsu, Muto (73th min), Saivet (82nd min).
Some decent bits of play, and a stunning ball at the end there by Dan Barlaser, but no final finish – highlighting the need for new arrivals like Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson.
This now means our pre-season ends with 1-0 and 5-1 defeats to Stoke and Middlesbrough respectively, following a 3-0 win over Crewe and 2-1 victory over Barnsley in our opening two friendlies of the summer.
Here’s the FOURTEEN senior players who missed out:
- Martin Dubravka (ankle injury)
- Dwight Gayle (knee injury)
- Paul Dummett (limped off vs Boro)
- Ciaran Clark (missed training on Thursday)
- Matt Ritchie (heavily linked with return to Bournemouth)
- Florian Lejeune (struggled at Boro & could be on the way out?)
- Jonjo Shelvey (unknown)
- Jeff Hendrick (international duty)
- Emil Krafth (international duty)
- Matty Longstaff (thigh injury)
- Fabian Schar (shoulder injury)
- Jamaal Lascelles (suspended)
- Rolando Aarons (transfer listed)
- Achraf Lazaar (transfer listed)
Let’s hope we’re much better at West Ham next weekend and have a few new attackers signed by then.
After all, no one will mention these back to back defeats against average Championship opposition ever again if we come away from London with three points next Saturday!