BRUCE FEELS NEWCASTLE HAVE ENOUGH TO AVOID RELEGATION
With Newcastle losing to Leeds on Tuesday, it means that Steve Bruce’s men have failed to win any of their last nine league outings and with this being the current longest run in the division, the club are edging closer and closer to a relegation battle.
To the point, where some will consider themselves already a part of it and after such a worrying recent run of results, their tortured fanbase have not been shy in once again voicing their displeasure.
Because the default setting seems to be defeat and with manager Steve Bruce unwilling or perhaps unable to truly go for it with the personnel available, there’s almost a sense of waving the white flag before kick-off.
However, for all the valid criticism that has been volleyed in the direction of the man at the helm, he himself is confident that Newcastle can avoid the drop and after defeat to Leeds, the former Manchester United defender said the following:
"We've had an awful time, there is no disputing that, but I have seen enough to see that we can build a bit of confidence."
Of course, the person who is responsible for overseeing such a wretched run, must exude confidence on a public front and although his words are rather commendable, you do get the feeling that such positivity is somewhat misplaced.
Because, on the evidence of the last nine matches, Newcastle look devoid of ideas and although the effects of a COVID-19 outbreak has unfortunately lingered, that cannot be used an excuse for absolution.
With Newcastle currently operating on a downward trajectory, there is a nervous feeling forming on Tyneside and it is one that suggests, that eventually Brighton and Fulham will both get their houses in order.
Should they do so, the relegation trapdoor will be waiting to collect the ailing Magpies and for a club that was getting ready to swim about in Saudi oil money last summer, this will only add to grief that is currently visible for all to see.
Because although the addition of Callum Wilson from Bournemouth was welcomed, the 28-year-old cannot carry the burden of goalscoring on his own and when you look at Newcastle’s current goal to game ratio, it makes for rather damming reading.
With 20 games of the season now in the history books, they’ve only scored 19 goals and with this equating to a goal per game ratio of 0.95, it is a statistic that arguably points towards Championship football next season.
Of those 19 goals, Wilson has scored eight and with the former Bournemouth forward being responsible for 42% of Newcastle’s league strikes this season, everyone will be hoping his old injury woes do not return.
Then again, the England international has not scored in his last six league outings and it is perhaps his own personal drought that has caused Newcastle to go off the boil. Then again, it would be unfair to blame him for their misfortune, it’s more a by-product of over-reliance on a single player.