Steve Bruce’s priority before Newcastle United’s next match will be improving the team’s ‘defensive shape’, according to Chronicle Live journalist Lee Ryder.
Newcastle will look to secure their first Premier League win of the season at the fifth time of asking when they host Leeds United on Friday night.
A 4-1 defeat away to Manchester United on Saturday left the Magpies 19th in the early league table and they have now conceded 12 goals, more than any other team in the division.
Their expected goals against tally of 10.43 is also the league’s second-highest behind Arsenal (via Understat).
Ryder tweeted that ‘Newcastle United held [an] immediate dressing room inquest’ into the defensive lapses which saw them heavily beaten at Old Trafford, having pulled level shortly before the hour mark.
As per Chronicle Live, the players were given a day off on Sunday before preparations for the Leeds clash, which will consist of four sessions, began in earnest on Monday.
Bruce’s focus will be on tightening up his team ahead of the visit of Marcelo Bielsa’s side on Friday night.
Teams have cut through Newcastle far too easily in their opening matches, and in some respects this is a continuation of last season.
In 2020/21, they conceded a total of 62 league goals, more than relegated Fulham (53) and only one fewer than bottom club Sheffield United. It was clear that reinforcements were needed over the summer, but they have not arrived.
Clearly an improvement should be demanded, but there’s a limit to what Bruce will be able to do with the personnel he has at his disposal.
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