Kelly Cates hits back at Jamie Redknapp with comments Newcastle fans will love

Sky Sports presenter Kelly Cates has come to the defence of Newcastle United fans during a discussion with Jamie Redknapp about the Magpies’ conservative style of play.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 9:00 pm
Kelly Cates and Jamie Redknapp. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Steve Bruce’s side have garnered a reputation for their tendency to sit back and allow their opponents plenty of time on the ball, and prior to Tuesday evening’s 1-0 defeat against Sheffield United, the Toon Army had registered the lowest average possession stats of any side in the Premier League this term.

Speaking before the match, however, Redknapp defended Toon manager Steve Bruce, seemingly implying that supporters were out of line to demand a higher entertainment value from their side based on the tools at the 60-year-old’s disposal.

“I like Steve Bruce”, he said.

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"I’ve gone on record, I think he’s doing a reasonable job at the club.

"Newcastle fans will want more. They want possession-based football, they want a bit more excitement...”

Cates then interrupted the pundit, saying: “They want more energy, Jamie.

"They’re quite pragmatic about the way that they do it and the level that they’re at, but they want to see more energy and at least a notion of attacking.”

Redknapp responded: “I get all of that.

"They haven’t got Saint-Maximin, which is a bit of a problem because he’s one of their most exciting players. Of course you want to be playing better football and getting up the pitch and being more exciting, but so do a lot of clubs.

"This has been a by-product of under Rafa Benitez. It was exactly the same. Newcastle fans say, ‘It was better under Rafa’ – it wasn’t. I watched a lot of football at Newcastle when Rafa was the manager and it wasn’t enjoyable.

"At times, this isn’t enjoyable but they’re getting reasonable results.”

As well as having the dubious distinction of recording the lowest average possession stats in the division, Newcastle have also registered the second-fewest tally of touches and passes in the top flight so far this season.

The Toon Army have also had the third-fewest number of shots on goal and have kept the fourth-fewest total of clean sheets.