The Toon boss opted to switch back to a five-man defence last time out after his four-man unit was destroyed by Leicester City in the previous game and, despite being the man to miss out, Dummett has backed his decision.
“It did work in that game against Manchester United,” he said, as per the Shields Gazette. “We still could have played that formation against Leicester as well and got beat. We don’t know. In that game the manager said the personnel weren’t there to play that formation, and that’s why he changed.
“It obviously didn’t pay off [against Leicester], and he wanted to go back. The performance against Manchester United was a brilliant one and proved the manager was right with what he had said. Hopefully, we can carry on doing that for the rest of the season.”
It’s clear that the tactics didn’t work against Leicester, with the Magpies being absolutely victimised in that game, and so Bruce didn’t really have any choice but to return to a back five and go more defensive against United. However, there’s no doubt that he got things right against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. For all that Bruce failed in how he set his side up against the Foxes, he must get credit for righting the ship in the following game. Dummett was slightly unfortunate to miss out against the Red Devils, because he wasn’t any more to blame for the Leicester fiasco than anybody else, but Bruce preferred Ciaran Clark and it worked well. However, he clearly isn’t too upset about it. He will have wanted to play, of course, but he respects the coach and his decision. However, Newcastle were up against a woeful United side last time out, and so Saturday’s clash with Chelsea will give us a much more accurate assessment of where Bruce’s team are at.