As Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said: “Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles”, it appears that one of his former captains is also following in his words, of sorts.
Although Newcastle are unlikely to win a Premier League title anytime soon, Steve Bruce has taken on the famous saying by his former boss by admitting to The Chronicle that he is keen on improving the Magpies’ defence heading into the first international break of the season.
Indeed, the Toon’s defence in the opening four games has largely been impressive, with Newcastle conceding just five goals so far and keeping a clean sheet, a better record than the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal in the Premier League table, yet continuing to improve the backline could be the deciding factor between dropping into the Championship or another year in the top-flight.
Bruce said: “The one area we are going to have to put a lot of work into is in defence. Our defensive organisation has to be spot on to give yourself any type of platform. I think we had Leicester, Tottenham and Arsenal in the space of a week recently and they managed five shots on target against us, so that’s a positive thing. We will have to keep it to that and make sure those standards stay high.”
With Liverpool coming up next for Newcastle, a side boasting one of the best-attacking trios in world football and a team that has proven over the past two years to be a force, it will be interesting to see if Bruce can continue this surprisingly good defensive record against Jurgen Klopp’s side and then some.
With the Reds scoring the second-most goals out of anyone in the Premier League this season, Newcastle will be in for a difficult test when the two sides meet in just over a week’s time, and for Bruce, it will be the ultimate test to see if his seemingly smart plan on continuing to improve the defence has pulled off.