Jack Colback playing his way into Newcastle United's plans and Freddie Woodman looks ready - Seven things for Steve Bruce to take from pre-season

In a tale of three penalties - two second-half spot-kicks from Paul Gallagher consigned Steve Bruce to his first pre-season defeat.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 10:35 am
PRESTON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Jack Colback of Newcastle United during a pre-season friendly match between Preston North End and Newcastle United at Deepdale on July 27, 2019 in Preston, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

But what did the head coach learn from the encounter?

Here's seven key things Steve Bruce will be able to take away from the encounter in the eyes of our writer Liam Kennedy.

Joelinton and Almiron link-up shows early signs of gelling

They may not have combined for a goal in the second 45 - but for Miguel Almiron's penalty miss - the duo did, however, look full of movement, pace, clever touches and intent.

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Jack Colback playing his way into United's plans?

He is far from everyone's cup of tea, but midfielder Colback has impressed for United in pre-season. Has one year left and I'd expect he will end up spending it on Tyneside rather than on loan

Full-back positions are as desperate as any to be reinforced

DeAndre Yedlin has pace but lacks defensive qualities needed of a right-back. Javier Manquillo is solid but far from impressive. Matt Ritchie is not a full-back. And Achraf Lazaar will probably be let go.

United need to improve this area.

A lack of goals remains a concern - this must also be addressed

United lost their two top scorers last season, only one has been replaced.

Getting another striker is a must, especially with goals hardly flowing in pre-season.

Matty Longstaff could have as big a future as his increasingly impressive brother

United have got a couple of potential stars on their hands - and they're both called Longstaff. Matty was handed his first start and looked far from out of place.

One crunching tackle in the opening 45 announced himself to the game.

Rolando Aarons is no striker

On Saturday he operated up front with Yoshinori Muto. This was surely only a sticking plaster for Bruce. Aaron's can make it as a winger at United, not a frontman despite his pace.

Freddie Woodman looks ready for games

I'm not saying Woodman is Premier League ready, but he doesn't look a million miles away. United to give this lad what he wants and fast.