Steve Bruce got this decision 100% right at Newcastle United

Paul Dummett has backed Steve Bruce’s decision to adopt a more defensive formation at Newcastle United.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 7:49 am
Paul Dummett.

Bruce had hoped to play a more attacking brand of football after succeeding Rafa Benitez at St James’s Park.

However, United’s head coach made a decision on his system after the club’s 5-0 defeat to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Speaking earlier this month, Bruce said: “Looking at the way the team is happiest, you’d say we’ll play with five at the back, with two No10s, and we’ll sit deep and play on the counter-attack, which is exactly what we did when we played against Tottenham (when Newcastle won 1-0).

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“We changed for that game, because that’s the way they had played at the back end of last season when results were better.

“The two or three times I’ve tried to change us, it didn’t really work.”

The switch paid off, as Newcastle, set up as they had been under Rafa Benitez, beat Manchester United 1-0 at St James’s Park thanks to goal from Matty Longstaff on their last outing.

Dummett, preparing for Saturday’s game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, feels that the team has now found a way to win games.

“It did work in that game against Manchester United,” said the 28-year-old defender, speaking at the launch of GiveToLocal, a scheme which aims to put £5million a year into grassroots football clubs.

“It has worked in the previous years.

“We still could have played that formation against Leicester as well and got beat. We don’t know. In that game the manager said the personnel weren’t there to play that formation, and that’s why he changed.

“It obviously didn’t pay off (against Leicester), and he wanted to go back. The performance against Manchester United was a brilliant one and proved the manager was right with what he had said. Hopefully, we can carry on doing that for the rest of the season.”

Newcastle are 16th in the Premier League – and a point above the relegation zone – ahead of the Chelsea game.