Steve Bruce believes a “frustrated” Allan Saint-Maximin kept coming too deep to pick up the ball during our lacklustre 2-0 loss to Arsenal.
A rare sense of positivity existed on Tyneside prior to kick-off when the starting lineup featured ASM, Almiron and Wilson in the side for the first time in almost two months.
Many Toon fans – myself included – thought we could get a result against a weekend Gunners side, but we ultimately flattered to deceive and managed just one shot on target.
Here is what Bruce said after the game about the Frenchman’s performance, also rubbishing claims that we entered the game believing Premier League safety was already secured:
“Allan Saint-Maximin in the last few weeks has produced all sorts of magic but it wasn’t quite there.
“It was simply that service to [the attackers].
“I think Allan probably played too deep. He was a little frustrated and got too deep.
“We’ve never thought we’re safe. We have four games left and we still have a lot to play for.
“We didn’t play well enough today against a decent Arsenal team.
“We have to regroup, go again and get ready for next week.”
It wasn’t just Saint-Maximin who struggled, with the whole side looking as though they were on the beach yesterday.
We’ll let him off, of course, mainly due to the fact we would still be in a dogfight if it weren’t for his heroics since returning from injury.
Let’s hope we’re at it again when we travel to Leicester on Friday! We’ll need to be…