Newcastle United: The last 90 minutes should define the next 5 months

Newcastle United's Callum Wilson (Photo by OWEN HUMPHREYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United's Callum Wilson (Photo by OWEN HUMPHREYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Newcastle United concluded 2020 in a manner that will motivate them for the second half of the season.

Newcastle United did not hold on for a 0-0 draw against Liverpool. They earned it. The Magpies applied constant pressure offensively, created decent chances, and were simply outstanding defensively.

Most folks, including the editorial staff on this site, were expecting a good beating from the defending champions, but the fighting spirit Newcastle United put on display was a joy to watch. After their last few performances, Newcastle United generated endless pessimism among the Toon Army, but yesterday’s result was a turning point.

Steve Bruce was thrilled with that performance and result as it most likely added a few months to his tenure as manager, but fans will be hoping he learned a key lesson from yesterday’s game: there is no need to be ultra-defensive.

If Bruce truly wishes to silence the critics and win over more support he must deploy this type of game plan week in and week out, regardless of the opponent. There is no doubt that Newcastle United would be in the top ten right now had they played with this courage against Leeds United and Fulham.

The last 90 minutes proved that Newcastle United have enough talent to play balanced football against top teams. There is enough talent in the back to cope with dynamic strikers, and there is enough talent to create meaningful chances down the other end.

There are several difficult games coming up on the schedule, but Newcastle United need to take this performance, this confidence, and this momentum with them. If they can do that then finishing in the top ten will not be a problem.

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That was a great way to end such a tumultuous year, and it should lead to more impressive performances as we approach the halfway point of the season.