Newcastle United have had a mixed start to the new Premier League season.
It’s been quite the baptism of fire for Steve Bruce, who has had to juggle fan unrest with a tough fixture list. After four games, we’ve got four points on the board, and Bruce has been reflecting on where his side need to improve.
“The one area we are going to have to put a lot of work into is in defence,” he told the Chronicle.
“Our defensive organisation has to be spot on to give yourself any type of platform.
“I think we had Leicester, Tottenham and Arsenal in the space of a week recently and they managed five shots on target against us. So that’s a positive thing.
“We we will have to keep it to that and make sure those standards stay high.”
As Bruce says, we’ve shown hints at being solid at the back. Particularly at Tottenham, we were as solid as we were under Rafa Benitez.
Using the same system and mostly the same players, Bruce surely shouldn’t have to do as much work as he thinks. The foundations have already been laid by Rafa.
It’s the attack that clearly hasn’t fully clicked. We haven’t scored more than once in a game this season and failed to capitalise on our dominance against Watford.
Bruce needs to find a way to get the best out of his forwards and create more chances. We can move the ball nicely at times, but we need to do it more consistently and with purpose.
In the same interview with the Chronicle, Bruce went on to discuss the difficulties offensively.
“The next step, which will take weeks and months, is the hardest one.
“It’s creativity and that little bit of something that will cause a threat to other teams.”
It’s certainly the hardest step, but it should be the priority right now for Bruce. Goals will win us games. The likes of Joelinton and Miguel Almiron are real talents and we need to get the best out of them.