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Bruce calls Newcastle thumping at Leicester City ‘complete surrender’

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Steve Bruce did not hold back after his Newcastle side was obliterated 5-0 at the hands of Leicester City.

The Magpies boss called the defeat “a complete surrender” and blasted his team’s effort on the field in the loss.

“We have to apply ourselves better than what I’ve just witnessed there because it was a complete surrender too quickly and too easily,” he said after the defeat. “Too many felt sorry for themselves. Yes, we made mistakes and we got badly punished but to react in that way was the disappointment for myself, the players and the traveling support, which was quite unbelievable.”

Bruce, who took over for the departed Rafa Benitez despite heavy fan protest, said his players were soundly beaten in the second half and failed to respond to any of the adversity faced.

“Effort is a big, big part of the game and we have not done enough,” Bruce said to BBC Sport after the match. “The nitty gritty is we have not laid a glove on Leicester in the second half and the white flag came out too early.”

Most shockingly, Bruce seemed to admit the job might be out of his depth. He took responsibility for the defeat, but said that the best coaching would not have saved the players on the day.

“Being a manager or coach, I ultimately accept the responsibility because it’s as bad an afternoon as I can remember,” Bruce said. “I have heard lots of nonsense about tactics but the big thing is about showing pride and having a go. We have let everybody down today. I always knew it was a challenge, I was delighted to take the challenge but let us hope we can turn it around. I have the appetite to do that.”

Newcastle sits 19th in the Premier League table, with only the defensively challenged Watford below them. They next face Manchester United on Sunday, followed by a visit to Chelsea and a match against Wolves.

Premier League preview: Leicester City v. Newcastle

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  • Leicester City five points behind second-place Man City
  • Newcastle United 19th through six games
  • Leicester have lost their last two home games against Newcastle

In Sunday’s lone match, Leicester City have the clear-cut opportunity to move behind Liverpool and Manchester City, but Newcastle United will look to make things difficult for the home side when they face-off at 11:30 a.m ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ] 

It’s late September, and there’s no way around it: Brendan Rodgers has done well for the Foxes so far this season. In six games, Leicester have gathered three wins, drawn twice and lost once – to Manchester United at Old Trafford in a game that could have gone either way. In other words, in position to move into the top three with a win on Sunday.

From the looks of it, Jamie Vardy has held on to the Midas touch, and the departure of Harry Maguire is a thing of the past thanks to the emergence of 23-year-old Çağlar Söyüncü. James Maddison, who took a hit to the ankle against Tottenham is doubtful, but all things point to Rodgers having a near-healthy squad to choose from.

As far as things go for Newcastle, their situation is polar opposite. The Magpies have won only a game – a 1-0 victory over Tottenham – this season under Steve Bruce. And to no surprise, as the weeks go by, the pile continues to pile on the 58-year-old manager.

The serious hamstring injury Jonjo Shelvey suffered does Bruce and company zero favors; although, there is a break in the clouds for Newcastle as USMNT fullback DeAndre Yedlin is expected to be back on the bench after months of inactivity. Still, there is lots of work to be done for Bruce, who can really buy himself time with any positive result.

Injuries/suspensions

Leicester City: OUT – Daniel Amartey (ankle), Matty James (calf); QUESTIONABLE –  James Maddison (ankle)

Newcastle United: OUT – Matt Ritchie (ankle), Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring), Florian Lejeuene (knee), Dwight Gayle (calf); QUESTIONABLE – Allan Saint-Maximin (hamstring), DeAndre Yedlin (groin)


Projected lineups

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Chillwell, Söyüncü, Evans, Pereira; Maddison, Tielemans, Ndidi; Barnes, Vardy, Perez.

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Dummett, Lascelles, Schär; Willems, Longstaff, Hayden, Manquillo; Almiron, Joelinton, Atsu


What they’re saying

Leicester City manager Rodgers on facing Newcastle: “For us, we expect a very tough game,” he added. “They set up well, defend low, set deep and we have to be at our best to get the result.”

Newcastle United manager Bruce on their counterparts: “They’re a good side, and they’ve evolved into a very, very good side over the years. We know if we’re going to get something we’ll have to be at our best. We certainly have to be better in terms of goals – we understand that – and let’s hope that we can be with the players we’ve got coming back.”


Prediction

Newcastle performed well in Leicester under Rafa Benitez. He is no longer around, and the Magpies’ fortunes have turned upside down under Bruce. The visitors’ dire state and Leicester’s recent fine form put Newcastle’s chances bleak at best. Leicester City, 3-0.

Premier League Preview: Newcastle v. Brighton

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  • Early-season relegation battlers meet on Saturday
  • 18th-place Newcastle to host 16th-place Brighton
  • Brighton won at Newcastle, drew at home last season

Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion, a pair of Premier League sides with just two wins from the first five weeks of the season between them, will meet at St. James’ Park on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com) for what could prove to be a retrospective relegation six-pointer when May rolls around.

Each side replaced its manager — Steve Bruce for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle; Graham Potter for Chris Hughton at Bright — in the summer and neither of the new bosses has had a particularly enjoyable start to the 2019-20 campaign. Brighton won on the opening day of the season, but have taken just two points from the following four games. Newcastle lost their first two games, won their third, and have drawn and lost again since. It’s the kind of form that’ll see both sides stuck in the high-teens of the PL table if they don’t find their footing in the coming weeks.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

Things are particularly worrying for Newcastle, who didn’t they’d be without Benitez until the end of June and didn’t appoint Bruce until mid-July. Key players had already left the club and reinforcements for few and far between. Forward Joelinton joined for $50 million and is one of four players with a single goal scored thus far.

Last week was nearly fruitful for the Seagulls, until the conceded a stoppage-time equalizer and settle for a point at home against Burnley. Summer signing Neal Maupay bagged his second goal for Brighton earlier in the game, giving Potter a potential trump card over a handful of other relegation-threatened sides without a consistent goalscorer.

Injuries/suspensions

Newcastle: OUT – Matt Ritchie (ankle), Florian Lejeune (knee), Dwight Gayle (calf); QUESTIONABLE – DeAndre Yedlin (groin)

Brighton: OUT – Leandro Trossard (groin), Jose Izquierdo (knee), Ezequiel Schelotto (knee)


Projected lineups

Newcastle: Dubravka – Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Willems – Almiron, Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu – Joelinton

Brighton: Ryan – Duffy, Dunk, Webster – March, Stephens, Propper, Burn – Gross, Maupay, Murray


What they’re saying

Joelinton, on Andy Carroll: “It’s always great to have experienced players in the group, and he’s one of them. He can help the club, he can help the young players. Andy Carroll has scored a lot of goals in the Premier League, and it’s great to be playing alongside him. He’s a calm guy. I still haven’t spoken to him a lot because my English isn’t great! But every day he’s trying to help. He’ll help me before the games, he’ll give me positional advice and suggest what I’ve done both good and bad.”

Graham Potter, on the trip to Newcastle: “Newcastle away is a tough game just like all the others. We don’t target particular matches — it’s about what we need to do to get a positive result. They have an experienced manager who I came across last year and he’s someone I have a lot of respect for. They have good quality players and we know it can be a hostile environment, it’s a big club and we know we have to play well to get something.  Steve has a lot of games under his belt – he’s had a lot of success and he’ll understand the challenge that lies ahead.


Prediction

Newcastle haven’t scored multiple goals in a game yet this season, and they’ve conceded twice as many as they’ve scored (four). It’s hard to trust them to be anything resembling consistent from game to game. It wouldn’t be surprising if they battled to a boring 0-0 draw, or conceding three times before halftime. It’ll probably be closer to the former, a 1-1 stalemate.

Mourinho: Lampard has ‘all the conditions to succeed’ at Chelsea

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Jose Mourinho as a pundit has turned out to be a very interesting thing.

Happy to stoke the fires of controversy as a manager, Mourinho has largely brought a measured, thoughtful approach to his commentator’s seat. He’s also been fairly funny, like his quip about Man City’s B Team as a candidate to win the league.

[ MORE: Poch’s message to wantaway stars ]

A big part of this is Mourinho’s lack of bias, which is perhaps the most surprising part of it all given his readiness to take digs at old rivals like Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez during his time as a Premier League manager.

Consider Frank Lampard. Mourinho was not shy about the Chelsea manager’s mistakes against Manchester United, but not because it was his former job or a desire for headlines. Mourinho just didn’t like the Chelsea man’s job that day (and Lampard didn’t particularly enjoy the criticism).

This weekend, however, sees Mourinho backing Lampard on the whole, and “The Special One” thinks Chelsea’s current boss will be able to use the composition he usually displayed as a player to grow as a boss.

“He plays for big things,” Mourinho said. “He plays Champions League, he played a European Super Cup, he had already big matches in his hands, and he has to grow up with the level of experiences, which I believe he can because he has huge experience.”

“I cannot separate from the fact that football has been always in his life. He was born son of a player, he grew up [nephew] of a football manager, he became a player, he became a top player… I think he has all the conditions to succeed.”

Chelsea faces Wolves in a very challenging match at 10 a.m. ET Saturday (Watch live online on NBC Sports Gold).

Bruce talks struggles of Almiron at Newcastle

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Miguel Almiron has been very poor for Newcastle United this season.

His manager knows this, but Steve Bruce isn’t yet worried after the Paraguayan struggled mightily again and Newcastle drew Watford 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Newcastle 1-1 Watford ]

“Well look, he’s a delight work with day in and day out,” Bruce said. “Hopefully when he gets one, he’ll get off and running because the two big chances fell to him today, but his work-rate and his appetite and his energy, and he’s a good footballer, the kid.”

Almiron flubbed a trap in a point-blank scoring position early in the draw, and made more buzz for his play-acting than his production.

He is working hard and chipping in defensively, but that’s not supposed to be the focus of Almiron’s game.Over four matches, the 25-year-old ex-Atlanta United star isn’t just failing the eye test, he has some of the worst stats on the team.

Bruce just wants a bit of luck for his embattled big money signing.

From The Chronicle:

“As I said, he might need just one to come off his backside and get up and running, and we sincerely hope so,” Almiron said. “But we had two big opportunities and didn’t quite take them.”

The jump from MLS to Premier League was always going to be difficult, but this isn’t quite that; Remember: Almiron was very good last season even if he failed to find the score sheet.

And while Rafa Benitez is clearly going to bring more to a player’s tactical development than Steve Bruce, the new boss has been moving Almiron around and trying to find something to get him firing on more cylinders. It’s coming, but it sure hasn’t been easy to watch the journey.

We’re on minute 1,123 and counting with no goals and no assists.