Wolves 1 Toon 1

Last updated : 17 February 2022 By Footy Mad - Editor

Steve Bruce says his Newcastle side overcame the worst injury crisis he has seen in 40 years to draw at Wolves and end their three-game Premier League losing run.

Miguel Almiron's third goal in six games ensured a share of the spoils for Newcastle, who remain 13th in the table.

But with Paul Dummett and Dwight Gayle suffering first-half injuries, it was the manner of his side's performance that Bruce admired most.

"With the problems we've got we deserved something. I don't think there's a club out there which has 12 or 13 players missing," Bruce said.

"They ran a million miles and their resilience was there for everyone to see. We lacked a bit of quality in the top end of the pitch but I couldn't fault their effort and endeavour. I thought it was going to be a repeat of when we lost four players in 12 minutes against Leicester.

"Joe [Joelinton] had the courage to carry on [with a groin problem] when we were down to the bare bones. It's ridiculous, I've never known anything like it in 40 years."

While Wolves move up to seventh in the table, they produced an unusually flat performance at Molineux in their 37th game of the campaign.

Leander Dendoncker's equaliser from Joao Moutinho's corner should have laid the platform for them to take advantage of Newcastle's problems.

But instead they struggled to convert possession into meaningful scoring chances.

"I'm not frustrated. I think we didn't play well enough to win," said head coach Nuno Espirito Santo.

"We didn't move the ball fast enough. Fast circulation of the ball allows you to open spaces, but that was one of the issues today."

While Wolves largely had control of the ball, this was the fourth consecutive game in all competitions in which Nuno's side have struggled to find a cutting edge.

Since their victory over Manchester City on 27 December, they have failed to muster more than four shots on target in any game.

Wolves have also now conceded first in an unrivalled 15 league games this season, including the past six in a row.

And while they huffed and puffed, particularly in the closing stages, a victory against Newcastle would have flattered the hosts, despite their recovery from another sluggish start.

Adama Traore was the sole bright spark, supplying all of Wolves' best moments in open play.

And at times he appeared like an American Football running back, barging through, evading and accelerating clear of Newcastle defenders.

His right-wing cross provided Mexican forward Raul Jimenez with a first-half opportunity to equal Steven Fletcher's club record of 22 Premier League goals and he supplied Pedro Neto with a similar headed chance 14 minutes from the end, but Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka saved superbly from both players.

Dummett, returning after missing four matches, went off injured in the 13th minute and although Newcastle reorganised, Wolves equalised with a goal that will surely perplex Bruce. Moutinho's corner cleared several players before dropping into Dendoncker's path.

After that, however, the Magpies manager could have no such complaints and was clearly satisfied with his team's endeavour, fight and football intelligence at the final whistle.

While Dubravka twice rescued Newcastle, there were also solid performances from the likes of Ciaran Clark and Sean and Matty Longstaff.

Matty Longatsff, at 19 the younger of the two brothers, epitomised his team's approach in the closing stages, allowing Raul Jimenez to clatter into him to relieve pressure that had been building on the visitors.