NEWCASTLE, England (Reuters) - Newcastle United’s barren run of form continued when they largely dominated but still ended up being held to a 0-0 draw by Burnley in a sterile Premier League game at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Steve Bruce’s blunt United have now won just once in their last 10 league matches after running into a stubborn Burnley side, who are enjoying their best season in the Premier League era as they moved up to ninth place.
Amid the largely turgid fare, there were more yellow cards - seven - shown than there were shots on target - five - but Burnley manager Sean Dyche recognised the value of his side’s sixth successive match without defeat.
“I think overall, it was a below par performance from us but 11 clean sheets speaks for itself. It wasn’t a great game by any means but Newcastle have only lost here three times this season at home, so it was a good point,” said Dyche.
The impressive Matt Ritchie, who had seven attempts on goal, Dwight Gayle and the returning Jonjo Shelvey all had decent chances blocked by committed Burnley defending in a disappointing goalless first half.
Newcastle upped the pace after the break but Gayle’s overhead kick from Miguel Almiron’s cross and a Ritchie piledriver were the closest they came to breaking the deadlock.
Bruce, addressing the limitations of a side who have not been able to find the net in their last four games, shrugged: “You don’t often get 20 chances in the Premier League and we need to take one.
“Therein lies our problem, but we need to keep bashing away at it.”
Chris Wood briefly livened up Burnley’s challenge when he came on as a substitute but the man who had scored the winner in the corresponding fixture at Turf Moor in December was unable to earn Burnley their first league double over Newcastle for 59 years.
Newcastle are 14th and still far from safe from relegation, but Bruce remained upbeat.
“The Premier League is so, so difficult if you look at all the teams at the bottom,” he said. “I’m still quietly confident we’ll get there. Ten games left, all to play for.”
Reporting by Ian Chadband, editing by Ed Osmond and Tony Lawrence