After a dismal 2-1 loss to promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday, questions have been asked about Newcastle’s all-around performances. In this article, I’ll be looking at where Newcastle can learn from this defeat.

Pick the right players for the right tactic

Gayle had a quiet game because he wasn’t getting enough of the ball and couldn’t win headers when asked to. If the main tactic of the game is to play long balls up front, having Gayle on his own is going to be ineffectual. The game started to improve when Mitrovic and Murphy were upfront because they can win headers and knock the ball down, whereas Gayle needs to ball played into his feet to get the best out of him. Conversely, if Mitrovic/Murphy are in attack it would be better to play a lot of crosses because they can use their height and strength to their advantage.

Don’t underestimate teams

Last match, the gameplan seemed to be to sit back, absorb the pressure and hit Wednesday on the break. That simply didn’t work. Sheffield proved to be too much to handle and United lost all three points. The away side seriously underestimated their hosts and lost out dearly. What Newcastle should’ve aimed to do is to go out and dominate the match from the first minute. It’s all well and good to do that against top quality Premier League teams but not against Championship teams.

Mentality also goes under this point. The team needs to go into every match with a never say die attitude, fighting for every point. I know it’s cliched but it’s absolutely vital. If the team goes into a match with a relaxed attitude, there’s a high chance their performance levels will slip and may drop points. Mentality is key.

Obviously, I’m no manager but I believe that taking this advice will result in less dropped points.

Feature image credit: Martin Le Roy

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