Oxford United (h) FA Cup Fourth Round
Half time: Newcastle 0 Oxford 0
Steve Bruce said:
frustrated, disappointed, upset.
"We have to accept it. We didnít play well enough. The way we look at it is weíre still in the hat and we'll go a week on Tuesday, or whenever it is.
"I know for a fact weíll be better down there because, today, we didnít pass it quick enough, we mis-controlled it and couldnít find another black and white shirt.
"The big crowd played their part today and we haven't done enough to make them enjoy it. We huffed and puffed all day and didn't do enough.
"The fixture list over the last two months has decimated us and I think that's what's really annoying me that, today again, we haven't got anybody to try to change something in a forward area.
"....I could give you many excuses, fifth game in 12 days, or whatever it is and all this nonsense, but for a big crowd and the way they've played their part today, we haven't gone out and done enough for them to even enjoy a beer or two.
"We just huffed and puffed all day and didn't do enough."
"We'll treat the cup the way I
have always treated it. It is what it is. I can't understand giving people
a week off when you've just played the amount of games we have just played
over Christmas and January.
Karl Robinson said:
"Itís a fantastic day, one youíll remember for a long time to come.
"I want to say a massive thank
you to those wonderful supporters, who lit that dark top end of the stand
with their yellow.
"You were always on the edge of
your seat, there was never a dull moment in it.
"For the fans who turned out, it just shows you this cup has got a wonderful presence. My players were exceptional. Probably say we got the best chance of the game. All in all a very good performance by my players and I am very pleased with them.
"I thought we tried to play,
which was brave of the players. We started nervously and I wasn't happy. I
told them to relax and once they did that they got to grips with the game
a bit more.
The largest crowd to gather at SJP for an FA Cup tie since 1976 saw Newcastle take their place in the Fifth Round draw on Saturday for the first time in fourteen seasons.
However the only United fans celebrating that outcome at full time were 3,710 followers of League One Oxford up in Level 7; home fans showing their displeasure at the draw by booing their side off.
In truth, Steve Bruce's side were fortunate not to have been eliminated from the competition for the second time in four seasons by the U's. Unlike that disgraceful display at the Kassam in 2017 though, today we picked a team to win rather than fulfil the fixture and exit the competition.
On that basis, this draw was more concerning than the 2017 loss: we really were trying today....
A full-strength Magpies lineup including debutant Nabil Bentaleb never looked like unpicking their opponents - and Karl Darlow made a trio of vital second half interventions to deny Oxford.
The hosts were at their best in the opening 45 minutes when the returning Allan Saint-Maximin saw plenty of the ball but time and again was guilty of over-elaboration.
Wearing a bandage on his head after a clash with an opponent left him with a cut on his brow, Joelinton had a first half penalty shout rightly dismissed by VAR.
The number 9 was then twice correctly flagged offside as he shot home during the second period, (on 53 and 72 minutes) before volleying high over the crossbar in the closing moments.
That latter chance came soon after Miguel Almiron had miscued a similar effort, but they were rare moments of intent from a home side who quite literally didn't know what they were doing.
Almost inevitably Oxford battled hard and were cynical at times; Almiron twice dragged over at the expense of yellow cards when charging upfield on counter attacks.
However, Marcus Browne (on loan from 'Boro) twice had efforts blocked by Darlow, who was also equal to Nathan Holland's strike in the third minute of second half added time - the under-strength visitors coping with playing their 39th game of the season, 11 more than the hosts.
Shortcomings familiar from our recent displays were again evident; shabby passing, laboured build-ups, the recurring inability to create chances or test the opposition goalkeeper sufficiently.
But today there were to be no added time goals to save face and banish memories of the awful 90 minutes that had been endured beforehand.
It's one thing to be struggling against other Premier League sides, but today our opponents were far below that standard - winless in their last four league outings and now down in seventh. However, enjoying the lion's share of possession didn't help us, it only highlighting our shortcomings.
Nevertheless, we retained five at the back, were short up front and lacking in midfield - a wide right berth for Sean Longstaff doing nothing to spark any resurgence. And when Isaac Hayden did arrive from the bench for the final push, he went into defence as Fabian Schar was pushed upfield.
Despite the gloom and disillusionment among the fanbase, the merest hint of optimism had the place full of paying customers - today evidently the first Toon match for a good number of younger fans.
The metros were full, the streets were packed, programmes all sold out, shirts, scarves and smiles all very much in evidence before kick-off. As a crash course in the perpetual disappointment of supporting this lot though, it was a typical introduction to the sheer bloody misery of it all.
Malcolm Macdonald was present today in the press box; he was leading the line for Newcastle the last time we had a home crowd as big as this in the FA Cup almost 44 years ago. You could weep.
It's just typical of this club to have been handed a golden opportunity that they barely warranted to do something positive - and completely blow it.
Bruce asserted last week that his side would enjoy a well-earned rest after next Saturday's Norwich City game, but he jumped the gun and Newcastle must instead revisit the Kassam Stadium, today's misadventure having reduced the duration of their "mid-season" break.