Aston Villa (h) Premier League
Half time: Magpies 0 Villa 0
86 mins Matt Targett and Morgan Sanson exchanged passes down the Villa left and when Targett swung the ball over, a flicked header from Ollie Watkins hit Ciaran Clark's leg and flew into the top corner with Dubravka helpless. 0-1
Andy Carroll's fine sliding tackle hooked the ball back into our
possession as Villa looked to break. Jonjo Shelvey then swung a ball
across the box from the right side
that eluded everyone but Jacob Murphy.
Full time: Magpies 1 Villa 1
Steve Bruce said:
"There wasn't much in the game.
"There's still a long way to go yet. The tickly bit hasn't come
upon us just yet. We've got a huge game next week - there's still a lot to
"He’s come in for a lot of criticism, Joe, but he’s contributed to the team and his performance. Of course he needs to score the goal and be the hero but that hasn’t quite happened for him yet.
"He’s performing as well as he can do
and I’m sure there’s a goal around the corner. His all-round performance, we’re
pleased with him.”
"I spoke briefly on it last week, of not trying to change the shape of us, the way we've gone about how we're trying to play.
“I'll be a bit more technical and say we're playing with split strikers if you like, but that's the way we've gone about our work and I changed him and Ryan just after half-time.
"That's the way we've set up and that's the way we're going to
"It's difficult and the top end of the pitch, as I've always said, you're only ever as good as your strikers and unfortunately at the minute, we've got two or three who are missing for us and we have got people who are absolutely trying their utmost.
"I can't ask for any more effort and endeavour, and of course you'd love to take one of those chances which unfortunately we missed tonight."
Dean Smith commented:
"They probably had the better chances, but when you score a goal like we did in the 90th minute you should go and see it out.
"To be fair to the boys, I can't be too hard on them because they have
done for most of the season.
"Tonight was just a very scrappy game. There weren’t many big chances all game. We played Sheffield United a couple of games ago and got beat having created the big chances in the game.
"We’ve got good enough players to go and score goals. We’ve got a few
at the moment who are a bit short of confidence with no rhythm. That seems
to be across the league at the moment.
What their Manager may have referred to as another accumulation of
their third in as many games - saw Newcastle maintain their glacial progress
on Friday night towards avoiding relegation.