Newcastle United suffered their second straight defeat yesterday after losing 3-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Magpies put in a great partial shift as they went into the break level at 1-1, but a lack of defensive awareness enabled the Red Devils to score two more goals to take three points.
With Fulham now only three points behind Newcastle United in the race for survival, the majority of fans want to see one thing: Mike Ashley giving the order to sack Steve Bruce. Will it happen? Not quite yet, but Bruce could be gone if no positive results are earned after the final whistle against Brighton in a few weeks.
Fulham are full of confidence at the moment after claiming eight out of a possible twelve points from their last four games, which included taking four points off of West Ham (0-0) and Everton (2-0).
Scott Parker’s men have another winnable game this coming weekend against Crystal Palace, but Newcastle United must take advantage of Fulham’s difficult fixtures against Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Leeds United, and Aston Villa, in that order. So, what change is Bruce planning to make to turn things around?
It sounds like Karl Darlow is set for a demotion after starting 25 consecutive league games for Newcastle United.
According to the latest update from local journalist Lee Ryder, Martin Dubravka is set to start in goal for Newcastle United going forward. Bruce did not directly say that, but his message has been interpreted the same way among the Toon Army.
Karl Darlow has been stellar in some games, especially in the first half of the season, but he has been a keeper in decline in recent weeks. With Darlow in goal, Newcastle United have the third-worst tally in the top flight in terms of clean sheets: four.
With Dubravka in goal, the Magpies were ranked eighth in the league with eleven clean sheets, and the same statistic was recorded the year before. In other words, the Slovakian shot stopper is the best option to serve as the guardian between the sticks, and this move comes at the best possible time.
With two winnable games against an inconsistent Wolverhampton side and a dreadful West Brom squad, Dubravka’s athleticism and alert nature in goal will be massive for the Toon. Not only is it important to get results, but Newcastle United also need to improve their goal differential.
Fulham have conceded six fewer goals than Newcastle United this season, and that could very well make the difference in what status both clubs have if they were to finish the season level on points. The Magpies desperately need star man Dubravka to bail them out in this final stretch of the campaign.