Newcastle boss Steve Bruce angry with penalty decisions in defeat to Preston North End

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce and Preston manager Alex Neil have a chat on the touchline at Deepdale
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce and Preston manager Alex Neil have a chat on the touchline at Deepdale

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce was unhappy with the award of both of Preston North End penalties against his side at Deepdale.

Paul Gallagher put both spot kicks away to guide North End to a 2-1 win in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Patrick Bauer is fouled by Joelinton for Preston's second penalty against Newcastle

Patrick Bauer is fouled by Joelinton for Preston's second penalty against Newcastle

The first penalty was given when Tom Clarke's cross was handled by Jamie Sherry, with Bruce of the view that his player didn't have chance to get out of the way.

Referee Michael Salisbury pointed to the spot again when Patrick Bauer was caught by Magpies record £40m buy Joelinton.

Newcastle had been awarded a penalty of their own at the start of the second half with them leading 1-0 at the time.

Bauer's foul on Joelinton gave it away but Declan Rudd dived to parry Migi Almiron's spot-kick.

Bruce said: "With VAR the game is changing direction and with the handball situation it is becoming a lottery if we are not careful.

"There could be a lot of big games decided on whether it is handball or not.

"What is clear is that if it hits you on the hand it will be a penalty. That is as clear as mud.

"There will be some controversial decisions which will upset everybody.

"We have been given two shocking decisions. Let's just hope they are out of the road for us now."

Despite the defeat, Bruce took positives from the trip to Deepdale which was organised at short notice - he had wanted a game over the weekend after Newcastle's return from China.

Bruce said: "If we'd scored our penalty then it would have been game over.

"We knew it would be a physical test against Preston, they are at least 10 days ahead of us.

"But I thought we needed to get football in our legs."