Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce called his players in for extra training on Sunday, according to The Chronicle.
The newspaper claims that the Magpies squad had to do additional work after Saturday’s goalless draw with Brighton & Hove Albion, and Bruce looked to address their lacklustre performance.
The report states that the Toon boss was left shocked by the lack of urgency from his players at times during the clash at St James’ Park.
At one point he retrieved the ball quickly to set his team up for an attack, only to realise that his players weren’t far enough up the pitch to execute it. The squad have a day off on Monday before beginning preparations on Tuesday for Sunday’s clash with Leicester City.
There was undoubtedly a lack of urgency at St James’ Park on Saturday, from the Newcastle players to the thousands of empty seats vacant in the stands. The supporters have had enough, there’s no doubt about that, and it almost seemed like their lethargy spread to the players. That’s not to blame the fans in any way, because there is a vicious circle revolving around Mike Ashley’s complacent ownership. Everything goes back to that, but Bruce is right to have been concerned by how his players performed on Saturday. Simply put, the way Bruce’s men played against the Seagulls simply wasn’t good enough. They were seemingly bamboozled by Graham Potter’s tactics, as was Bruce himself. He needs to look in the mirror, as well, and presumably he did that on Sunday with this extra training session. The team have a free week without Carabao Cup involvement, so hopefully they will at least play with more urgency against the Foxes next time out.