This will be a short match report I’m afraid as I have very little to say about a game that I almost didn’t want us to win because of the level of performance. I flirted with the idea of just writing the word shite in big bold letters and having that as my entire report – that’s basically what you’ll read below. Bruce named a really strong side with a great opportunity to get to another cup quarter final, and that performance was what they delivered. Pathetic.

We were second best all over the park. League two Newport County looked like they wanted it more and pressed our lads effectively much higher up the pitch than United attempted. In the first half when they had the ball we reverted to type with Carroll the most advanced man, still inside our half. That is Premier League Newcastle United, sat inside their own half against League Two Newport County.

Why? I don’t know. Bruce doesn’t know either. His team has no identity, no style, no purpose. The lads on the pitch didn’t look like they had any idea what they were supposed to be doing.

Newport took the lead through a brilliant effort which crashed back off the bar, falling to a Newport player in space on the edge of the box. One of the poorest shots I’ve seen in professional football somehow bobbles over Gillespie to give Newport an early lead. For the remainder of the first half Newcastle continued to stink the place out. A neutral fan would’ve had no idea that we were the PL side.

No changes at half time (really Steve) saw much of the same in the second half, where despite playing higher up the pitch United’s front line failed to threaten until a long ball found Fraser one on one with the keeper. It looked like he should have caught the ball comfortably which would have allowed an easy touch round the keeper and certain equaliser. Instead he stuttered, like his team had throughout the second half, and shot straight into the keeper. Almiron was selfish with the rebound and the change went begging.

The subs changed the game (maybe should have done that at half time) and put United on the front foot with Murphy, who impressed for the second cup game in a row, missing a couple of chances before Shelvey (less said from me on him tonight the better) pulled out the one moment of quality from the game to equalise late on. Joelinton looked better again (funny how he does that against lower league teams when he cost £40m) and Schar can actually pass unlike our other defenders, so there were a couple of minor positives. We probably should have won it with the last kicks of the game, save some heroic last ditch defending from a spirited Newport side who will feel unlucky not to have progressed tonight.

Five good pens later (and one stinker for Joe, who I felt bad for) and we stumbled into our second quarter final of 2020. Were also 10th in the league and level on points with Spurs and Chelsea. It’s difficult to reconcile how that can feel so negative but that’s what it’s like supporting this Newcastle side. We’ll almost certainly get beat in the next round.

The final straw for me tonight is seeing Bruce’s post match comments. “All of a sudden it’s criticising tactics.” There is nothing sudden about it man. Fucks sake.