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Steve Bruce accused Newcastle of “complete surrender” after a crushing defeat at Leicester

‘It was a complete surrender’: Steve Bruce left fuming with his Newcastle side after feeble display at Leicester as he accuses his players of feeling sorry for themselves during heavy defeat

  • Newcastle were thrashed 5-0 by Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday
  • The Magpies collapsed after Isaac Hayden received a straight red card 
  • Manager Steve Bruce has accused his players of having a lack of fight 
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Steve Bruce accused Newcastle of ‘complete surrender’ after a crushing defeat at Leicester left them looking like serious relegation candidates with the season not yet two months old.

The Magpies produced an utterly dire performance, the lowlight of which was a dreadful tackle from Isaac Hayden on Dennis Praet shortly before half-time, earning the midfielder a straight red card.

Bruce had no complaints about referee Craig Pawson’s decision – even though Hayden argued forcefully against it – but appeared totally demoralised by what his team had produced. 

Steve Bruce accused Newcastle of “complete surrender” after a crushing defeat at Leicester

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Steve Bruce accused Newcastle of ‘complete surrender’ after a crushing defeat at Leicester

Ricardo Pereira opened the scoring for Leicester as Jamie Vardy struck twice in the second half, with Paul Dummett’s own-goal and Wilfred Ndidi’s late effort taking Leicester third, two points behind second-placed Manchester City.

‘We have to apply ourselves better than what we’ve witnessed there because it was a complete surrender, too quickly and too easily,’ said Bruce. ‘We didn’t do enough, especially in the second half, to stop the Leicester momentum.

‘It was nowhere near what is required. With 10 men, the one thing you can show is a bit of resilience, determination, fight, courage. It was a poor second goal and a wicked deflection for the third but we didn’t do enough to try to put anything right.

‘We haven’t shown enough resilience, and that’s the disappointing thing for me as I sit here as it’s the only thing I really, genuinely demand – that they play in a certain way, which unfortunately we didn’t see today.

‘Too many felt sorry for themselves. I’ve only been at the club [just over two months] and I haven’t witnessed what I did today.

The Magpies remain in the bottom three with just one win from their first seven games

The Magpies remain in the bottom three with just one win from their first seven games

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The Magpies remain in the bottom three with just one win from their first seven games

‘Yes, we made mistakes and we were badly punished, but to react in that way was the disappointment for me, the players and the travelling support.

‘We need to give the fans something to shout about, to see a team play with a bit of determination, passion and heart, before we talk about tactics and football ability. That needs to be a given.

‘Unfortunately today I can’t defend it. I accept the responsibility because it’s as bad an afternoon as I can remember. The whole lot of them were nowhere near what is required to make a fist of it in the Premier League.

Newcastle have five points from their opening seven matches, and with only Watford below them in the table, former manager Graeme Souness believes the future is bleak.

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The Sky Sports pundit was in charge at St James’ Park from 2004-06 and delivered a brutal assessment of the current state of his former club, the subject of £300million takeover interest from a consortium headed by Peter Kenyon, once chief executive of Manchester United and Chelsea.

Bruce was not impressed with his players and accused them of feeling sorry for themselves

Bruce was not impressed with his players and accused them of feeling sorry for themselves

Bruce was not impressed with his players and accused them of feeling sorry for themselves

Souness said: ‘The players did throw the towel in. They were getting bullied. They lost their way in the game. When you concede goals like that, that’s a recipe for one thing – you are going down.’

After Leicester’s widest margin of victory in the Premier League era, boss Brendan Rodgers stopped short of saying his side were now challengers to Liverpool – who they face on Saturday – and City.

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But optimism is growing at the King Power Stadium, especially after victory was achieved without injured playmaker James Maddison. Leicester hope he will be available at Anfield.

Rodgers said: ‘The top two teams are at a really high level. Our job is to be as competitive as we can and let’s see where it takes us. The aim when I came was to bring European football and it was a challenge I wanted.