Steve Bruce watched on as Newcastle United added a point to their total but stay in the relegation zone.
Only six games gone but out of the League Cup and with two points from a possible fifteen in the Premier League, the pressure is very much on.
Steve Bruce declaring afterwards ‘we need a win.’
The NUFC Head Coach said that it was a game that could have gone either way and that is true, up to a point, but it could have gone the way of Leeds a lot more. The woeful tactic against this Leeds side of having Newcastle defend so deep, gift domination and control of the match from the very first minute, was just inviting trouble, as it (this negative set-up) does time after time against poor to average teams at home, Southampton game the same.
Leeds inevitably got the first goal as they dominated the first half and should have had the game won by half-time, wasting some great chances. The magic of ASM somehow helping Newcastle to go in level at the break, although his 44th minute goal had even been instantly followed by Leeds going up the other end and after two chances were blocked, one of the visiting players blazed over an open goal from eight yards out.
It was a more even game in the second-half, Leeds regularly on the offensive and interspersed with Allan Saint-Maximin running up the other end.
Against a weakened Leeds who are struggling themselves, this looked a golden chance to get that win. Difficult to imagine any other team allowing anywhere near so much time and space for ASM to counter.
Newcastle fans once again chanted for Steve Bruce to go, once again the NUFC Head Coach said he will use his long experience of football management to try and ‘keep out the noise.’
As to dealing with the pressure when you and your team are failing, Steve Bruce insists it is all about…’how you handle it, keep your dignity, do what you think is best and stick with it.’
Well, we haven’t seen an awful lot of ‘dignity’ shown by Steve Bruce in his 26 months so far at St James Park, from insulting the fans to insulting the former manager (‘The Mighty Rafa…’), to scapegoating players and undermining them in public. The only people getting total respect and compliance from Steve Bruce, have been Mike Ashley and his hierarchy.
Steve Bruce may be trying to be less confrontational these days when it comes to the Newcastle fans but the damage has surely been done. The NUFC Head Coach led a charmed life with games behind closed doors for a year and a half but there is no hiding place now and I think the pressure is showing.
Difficult to see how Steve Bruce would have survived last season with fans inside stadiums, when he went on that two wins in twenty one games run. Currently we are ‘only’ on a run of five defeats and a draw in six games but this upcoming set of fixtures (Watford away, Wolves away, Spurs home, Palace away, Chelsea home, Brighton away) look ominous and in all six of these matches the bookies won’t make Newcastle the favourite to win.
Steve Bruce after Newcastle 1 Leeds 1:
“We need a win.
“I’ve said it many times, in the Premier League, whether you are at the top or at the bottom, you are judged on results, and at the end of the day, we’ve drew two and we need to get a couple of wins if we can.
“I understand their [Newcastle fans] frustration, I really really do.
“So…but for me, it is all about the team and the way they [fans] were as a crowd towards the team and the atmosphere that they generated,
“What can I say about chants [from Newcastle fans demanding Bruce leaves]…look, I’ll say it again, I’ve never wanted to walk away or quit when there’s a fight on our hands.
“And I continue to try and do the best I can be in this situation, hope that I can draw on the experience I’ve had over the last twenty odd years to stand me in good stead, and try to keep out the noise.
“I enjoyed the game and lets be honest, it could have gone either way.
“It was like when you play at school, it was end to end and to be fair to Leeds they force you into playing that way.
“After a difficult start, the actual game and response from our team was terrific.
“It has been fine margins today, we needed a bit of luck to go our way.
“It has been a difficult start, there’s no disputing that, but if we keep playing the way we did there then I’m convinced we’ll be ok.
“I can understand frustrations [of Newcastle fans]. I get that.
“The atmosphere they created makes the spectacle.
“They are unique and the way they got behind the team was the most important thing and I’m very pleased about that.
“That’s the big thing about the Premier League whether you’re at the top or the bottom.
“You have to accept when you don’t win a game you come under pressure…how you handle it, keep your dignity, do what you think is best and stick with it.
“The way they have gone about their work today, it could have gone either way, but it was a great football match.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Friday 17 September 8pm
(In brackets the first half stats)
Possession was Leeds 65% (65%) Newcastle 35% (35%)
Total shots were Leeds 21 (13) Newcastle 17 (7)
Shots on target were Leeds 9 (5) Newcastle 7 (3)
Corners were Leeds 5 (4) Newcastle 4 (1)
Referee: Mike Dean
Darlow, Manquillo (Krafth 81), Hayden, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Fraser 62), Willock, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton (Murphy 90+1)
Gillespie, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Fernandez, Gayle
50,407 (3,200 Leeds)
(Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Marcelo Bielsa gutted after Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – It’s a game we should have won – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Friday’s draw – Read HERE)