Steve Bruce bemoans Newcastle United's 'Sunday league defending' in Leeds United defeat

Steve Bruce likened Newcastle United's defending at Elland Road to that which you’d see on a park on a Sunday.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 6:00 am

Bruce’s side were beaten 5-2 by Leeds United last night after conceding three late goals.

Ciaran Clark had equalised in the 65th minute, but Marcelo Bielsa’s side tore open Newcastle late in the game.

“Up until the last 12 minutes, whatever it was, I thought we’d given as good as we got,” said head coach Bruce. “Unfortunately we’ve been punished and given away bad goals.

"When you give away bad goals at this level, especially two or three of them in a matter of minutes, obviously, it’s difficult to swallow.”

Bruce went on: “Up until 75 minutes, I was comfortable. I thought we looked a threat when we equalised. Of course, Leeds are always going to ask you questions, but we’ve gifted them the two or three goals at the end. It’s something that you see on the park on a Sunday, and for that it’s unacceptable.”

Newcastle felt that they should have been awarded a penalty when Liam Cooper brought down Callum Wilson in the box when the score was 1-1 in the second half.

“I was all for VAR when they brought it in to make sure the clear and obvious mistakes that the referee misses (are picked up),” said Bruce. "That’s what VAR is there for. I think if anybody looks at the challenge, you’ll understand that it’s a clear penalty.”

Steve Bruce.

Newcastle are 14th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s home game against Fulham.

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