Steve Bruce insists Newcastle deserved more against a gifted Leicester side – but concedes Brendan Rodgers’ men had the extra quality in the final third
- Fine strikes from James Maddison and Youri Tielemans gave Leicester a 2-1 win
- Newcastle scored late through Andy Carroll, with his first goal back at the club
- Magpies manager Steve Bruce admitted Leicester’s attacking firepower showed
Steve Bruce was wrong when he said Newcastle United did not deserve to lose this game — but he was right to identify the quality of Leicester’s attacking players as the difference between the two sides.
The Magpies have taken two points from 15 and supporters remain unhappy with performances and, more recently, the decline in results.
There was a momentary ceasefire in the criticism aimed at Bruce in light of last week’s much-improved display during the goalless draw at home to Liverpool.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce admitted Leicester’s superior attacking threat shone through
But they failed to follow that up here and — while they could have nicked a point at the end after substitute Andy Carroll’s fine volley to make it 2-1 eight minutes from time — they had shown precious little quality or nous in the final third up to that point.
That is the concern among fans and observers: the absence of an obvious strategy when it comes to creating chances and scoring goals, and Bruce conceded they need to improve.
‘I don’t think we deserved to lose today,’ he said. ‘But we have to improve our final pass. We have to hold on to the ball better. We gave it away too cheaply and too often. That little bit of quality in the final third was missing. It is the hardest part of the game.’
Goals from James Maddison (left) and Youri Tielemans (right) helped the Foxes win 2-1
Leicester won thanks to two wonderful strikes from James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, and Bruce added: ‘They are a very, very good side. They have that bit of quality at the top end of the pitch.
‘We left ourselves exposed and two passes and they’ve scored. They’ve got Harvey Barnes, Jamie Vardy, James Maddison. They’re top drawer. That quality gives you the edge.’
Bruce could now turn to Carroll in search of goals after his strike, Carroll’s first for the club since Boxing Day 2010, broke the team’s six-hour drought.
‘It was a great finish,’ he said. ‘Andy certainly brought us to life. We went a bit more direct to him. ‘He has given me food for thought. It’s nice to see him fit and well.’
Magpies striker Andy Carroll scored his first goal back at the club since signing last season
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