Steve Bruce admits Newcastle United need to be ‘a bit better’ at defending set-pieces after Hull City caused his side a couple of problems. The Newcastle head coach welcomed his former club to St James’ Park on Saturday as the Magpies stepped up their preparations for the return of the Premier League with their third behind closed doors friendly in a week. Goals from Florian Lejeune and Allan Saint-Maximin gave the black-and-whites a comfortable 2-0 win, but Hull did hit the woodwork on a couple of occasions. And Bruce, who confirmed captain Jamaal Lascelles missed the game because of the birth of his son, certainly took note of the threat the Tigers posed from set-pieces despite the victory.
Steve Bruce said “It’s always nice to win, of course, but it was a typical friendly behind closed doors, In the first half, we played with a certain intensity and the longer the game went on, the more it drifted away a little bit but it’s always nice to win and we’ve had a decent week. The good thing is that everyone’s come through it OK. I think that’s the vital importance. We have picked up one or two in the week – the two Longstaff brothers in particular – but they’ll hopefully be joining us on Monday or Tuesday. All in all, it’s a good workout and gets us ready again for what lies ahead. It was a comfortable afternoon, overall. Certainly, from defending set-pieces, we’ll have to be a bit better. That’s where they caused us a threat so, of course, we’ve got all week to look at it and make sure we get that right. The supporters, especially a club like Newcastle United, are what make the football club, There’s been people who want to come and work hard all week to buy their ticket to sit in the stand and shout on their team.”
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