Steve Bruce believes we were the better side in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham, claiming it’s the best we’ve played in a ‘long, long time’.
The NUFC boss also revealed after the game that Andy Carroll (calf), Ryan Fraser (groin) and Federico Fernandez (calf) all missed out on the matchday squad with new injuries – suggesting the latter duo suffered setbacks late in the international break.
Bruce also offered a bizarre take on the ‘mole’ in the dressing room, saying such reports are “nonsense” – despite him actually confirming there was accurate information being leaked from the camp (regarding the Ritchie bust up) just a few weeks ago!
The 60-year-old has also praised Joelinton for ‘arguably his best display’ since he took the job and Joe Willock’s crucial cameo to rescue us a point.
Here’s what he’s had to say on all of the above:
Bruce on injuries:
“Andy Carroll picked up a calf injury.
“Ryan Fraser picked up a groin injury while he was away with Scotland and hasn’t trained for a few days.
“Fede Fernández felt his calf again too.”
Bruce on the performance and 2-2 draw vs Spurs:
“We’re pleased but in my opinion it should have been three points.
“I thought we were the better side.
“It was as good as I’ve seen us play for a long, long time.
“I’m just disappointed we haven’t won it.
“You take a point. I’m really pleased with the performance.
Bruce on reports there’s a ‘mole’ in the NUFC dressing room:
“All this nonsense we get thrown at us.
“There’s this nonsense about a mole in the dressing room. Blah blah blah, there is nothing wrong with the spirit here
“The spirit and the togetherness in the camp is always going to be there. We have to put up with so much nonsense.
“The response from the players was clear to see. The spirit is never in doubt.
“The performance is what we’re looking for after such a poor one.
“To come out and perform against a very good team like Tottenham, I thought the players were excellent.”
Bruce on Joelinton:
“That was arguably as good I’ve seen Joelinton play for us.
“Probably the easiest thing to do is stick it in the net.
“His touch is immaculate. He plays with great effort and endeavour. But his all round game today was terrific.
“He has had it tough but the one thing about Joe is he doesn’t shy away from it.
“Yes, we have to improve his goal tally but over a tough period he’s done very well in certain games.
“Today, arguably, was his best.”
Bruce on Willock:
“I’m delighted for him.
“He wasn’t happy when he wasn’t in the starting line-up.
“However, he’s come on and got us the goal so I’m delighted he’s got one against Tottenham which will please him.”