Ex-Sunderland boss Steve Bruce reveals tactical doubts after failed Newcastle United switch

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce admits it is back to the drawing board after a failed tactical switch against Burnley.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 5:00 pm
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Andy Carroll of Newcastle United waits to be substituted on as Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Newcastle United at The King Power Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Bruce has questioned his team's use of Andy Carroll, who was recalled with Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron out with injuries.

United were much more direct at Turf Moor with usual lone striker Joelinton dropped into one of the two supporting roles behind former England international Carroll.

And Bruce does not think his side got things right in the final third, especially as United failed to register a shot on target in the 1-0 loss.

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“When you play Andy, it’s important you find the right balance in terms of your attacking play, and I didn’t think we got the balance quite right,” said Bruce.

“I thought there were times where we got a bit too direct, and that’s something we’re going to have to look at and work on.

“But look, we were chasing the game in the closing stages because we were very, very comfortable before they scored.

“We were comfortable until the goal, and I said before, you don’t want a wrong decision from the referee to be the deciding one.

“We huffed and puffed and never gave in, and we’ve had two big chances with Andy’s and that little bit of quality for Dwight Gayle’s chance. In a game where there hadn’t been much, we thought that was the time.”

After a positive few weeks, with United taking a point of Manchester City and three from Southampton and Sheffield United, Bruce is keen not to dwell too much on what was a bit of a ‘no show’ in Lancashire.

“I’m disappointed because we didn’t deserve to get beat. That’s always the disappointing thing when a big decision goes against you. You expect, at this level, to have a decision like that go for you. Unfortunately, it’s cost us the game.

“We’ll get ready to go again next week. We’ll dust ourselves down and get ready to go again.

“You’ve seen big results in the Premier League. We’re at home next weekend, so let’s forget about this one and move on. Let’s see where that takes us.”