“Up until the last twelve minutes or so I thought we gave as good as we got…”
These are genuine quotes from Steve Bruce following last night’s 5-2 defeat to Leeds United.
We may have technically been ‘in the game’ with 12 minutes to play, with the score being at 2-2 before Leeds ran riot, but even the most optimistic of Newcastle fans would accept they were the better team and the ones looking far more likely to score all night.
Bruce reckons we “have as good as we got”, but I struggle to see how he can possibly say this when we allowed them to have 25 shots and 69% of the ball.
His post-match comments suggest there was nothing between the two sides until some schoolboy defending let Leeds in late on, yet, in reality, they could’ve easily scored five well before they eventually did.
Bruce said after that game that he wasn’t going to make any excuses for the defeat, but he can’t use 15 minutes of naive defending to hide behind a performance that saw us look second best all night.
He gave a similarly baffling response when we lost 4-1 at home to Man Utd earlier in the season:
“At the end of the day, we were four minutes away.
“We were disappointed from the way it finished. From 1-1 to 4-1, it was awful, the last five or six minutes.
Yes, we were technically close to decent results in both matches before conceding a flurry of late goals, but you can’t allow the opposition a whopping 53 shots across two games (25 vs Leeds, 28 vs Man Utd) and suggest the scoreline paints an inaccurate picture.
Last night was on the back of two big wins and us playing twice in five days after a mass Covid outbreak that’s been difficult to manage, yet it was only a matter of time until we suffered a big defeat like that.
After all, you can’t regularly allow your opponents that many shots and not expect to be punished badly one day.