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Steve Bruce urged Newcastle to squander less possession after falling in a 2-1 loss to Leicester.
Newcastle’s Premier League winless streak extended to five after goals from James Maddison and Youri Tielemans condemned them to defeat at St James’ Park.
They are still several points away from the relegation zone, but Bruce knows they will have to be more clinical on the ball and especially up front to make sure they don’t slip further on the board.
“We gave away the ball cheaply both times and Leicester punished us,” he said. Sky sports.
“The one thing you don’t want to do when you’re possibly at your best after halftime is give the ball away. It is something that we have to improve.
“We just lacked a bit of quality in the last third.
“I have to think that even though we only take one point [over the Christmas period]It was always going to be difficult and luckily we are recovering from some of the illnesses. I can’t blame the efforts of the players.
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“I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game but they punished us and caught us on the counterattack. It’s what we want to do, but they keep getting us backwards.
“You have to stick with that, there is a long, long way to go, but if they continue to show the attitude that they have been doing, they will be fine.”
Bruce gave something to think about
Newcastle threatened to return to the game when Andy Carroll scored his first goal for the club since returning in the summer of 2019.
Ultimately, it wasn’t enough for a comeback. But Bruce was pleased with the impact of the man he had sent as a replacement.
“Grand finale, yes,” he said. “Andy certainly brought us to life. We were a little more direct to him.
“It has given me reason to think. It’s good to see him fit and well. “
Bruce’s attention will soon turn to his next match, against Arsenal in the FA Cup next weekend.
You’ll have to juggle that preparation with the transfer activity now that the January window is open. But he admits it could be a quiet month in terms of hiring.
“If there are one or two in the credit system, we will try,” he said.
“I don’t see a lot of transfer activity in January if I’m brutally honest and it will probably be the same for us.
“We need to recover and he gives another two or three days for those battling the disease and looking forward to the next batch of games coming up.”
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