If that feeble attempt to do anything more than keep the score down at Man City wasn’t frustrating enough, you won’t like Steve Bruce’s post match comments.
First off, reporters asked what he had to say to frustrated NUFC fans questioning the lack of direction or ambition at the club.
His response was desperately depressing, stating that his aim under Mike Ashley is to make sure Newcastle finish 17th or better. “We are where we are” and he’ll try to “edge us forward”, he said:
“My remit is to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.
“We are where we are.
“It’s been like this for the last four or five years…
For a lot of people that isn’t good enough but we have to accept it.”
“I will keep trying to edge us forward.”
Inspirational stuff. Why do we have to ‘accept it’?
OK, he’s just a bi-product of the Mike Ashley era and we all know the NUFC owner has zero ambition when it comes to anything above staying in the division, but this is the same guy who has talked up a push towards the top 10 and attractive football after being given almost £100m to spend over the past few transfer windows!
To make matters worse, his verdict on that 2-0 defeat at Man City wasn’t much better, claiming we had a go, “made a fist of it” and were miles better than we were at Brentford.
What’s even more bizarre is that he stated BEFORE the game that the “histrionics have been quite ridiculous” since that cup exit in midweek, yet totally contradicted himself after the loss at City, stating the criticism “rightly came our way” after being beaten by a Championship side that rested several key players.
Here’s what he had to say after the defeat at The Etihad:
“We needed to respond to the heavy criticism which rightly came our way (after Brentford).
“It was a big improvement.
“The one thing you want them to do is roll your sleeves up, recover and have a go. It’s City which is very difficult but I thought their attitude was excellent.
“We gave the ball away in a poor area and if you do that against a top, top team then you get punished and we did. We were sloppy in possession and gave the ball and we were punished.
“You accept mistakes, they happen in football but the one thing you wanted was a response from the poor, poor showing in midweek and we got that.
“I’m very pleased that they did that.
“You always know you’re going to come here against a world class team but the attitude of the players I couldn’t fault.
“We were beaten by the better team on the night, of course but it was a decent performance which was good news.“
We didn’t down tools, but how he can watch that and come away so content sums up his total lack of ambition as a manager.
Constantly lowering expectations and bringing a decent group of players down to his level.