“He was immaculate” – Bruce raves over NUFC’s two unsung heroes in 1-0 win vs Blackburn

Steve Bruce has hit the nail on the head in his praise of new boy Mark Gillespie and returning centre-back Ciaran Clark following Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Blackburn.

The Carabao Cup clash was hardly a classic and a tough watch for anyone who paid £10 to stream it online, however there were a few impressive performances in black and white.

Almiron’s eye of the needle pass and Fraser’s debut goal will make the headlines, but Gillespie made a strong of solid stops, strong claims and showed good distribution, while Clark barley put a foot wrong on his first game back for SEVEN months.

Here’s what Bruce has had to say about both after the game:

“Mark Gillespie was given away as a 16-year old so it was a big night for him on his debut and he was arguably our best player.

Ciaran Clark was the big one for me – I thought he was immaculate considering he hadn’t played since around last Christmas time.”

Bruce then rightfully praised Fraser for his debut goal, believing his ‘effort and enthusiasm’ was also impressive for a player who’s been out of competitive action since March:

“The only bit of quality we showed all night was the goal. It was a great ball, a great run and Ryan stuck it in well.”

“Considering he hasn’t played since March I thought Ryan’s effort, endeavour and enthusiasm was there for everybody to see. It was a great finish and a great run.”

It wasn’t pretty, but it’s another win, another clean sheet, another assist for Almiron (he now has 2 in 2!) and another debut goal for one of our summer signings, with Gillespie and Lewis also doing their jobs at the other end with rock solid displays in our last two.

A big shoutout to Clark too, who marshalled the defence brilliantly and didn’t put a foot wrong in a backline that could’ve been ripped apart if it wasn’t for a few of his timely interventions.

A win that sends us through, but this should be warning that we need more options up top and a few more loan signings to boost what is still a very fragile squad.

Play like that against Brighton on Sunday and we won’t be so lucky!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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