Steve Bruce signals tactical change at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce says Newcastle United were far too “open” against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 23rd September 2019, 6:00 am
Steve Bruce. (Pic: Martin Swinney)

The visitors had 71% of possession at St James’s Park on Saturday.

And Bruce made several tactical changes during the goalless draw, which has left the club with just five points from six Premier League games.

Brighton dominated the first half, and there were boos from Newcastle fans at the half-time whistle.

Asked if he was annoyed at the interval, Bruce said: “It was just to tweak technically. We played Liverpool and Tottenham a couple of weeks ago and we weren't wide open like we were.

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“You have to accept that responsibility to go and chase the ball up the end of the pitch. We found it a struggle, and we will find it a struggle. You learn something, you try something.

“The vast majority have played a certain way for a good two or three years, and I can understand that. That's the way we played.

“You're not going to learn a lot in eight weeks, but I know one thing: we can't open ourselves up like we did. Otherwise, in the Premier League against the big teams and even the ones who are going to be up and around you, (they) easily pick you off.”

Bruce and Steve McClaren are the only two United managers to fail to guide the club to a win from its open three Premier League home games.