Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has hailed the reaction of his players following Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, praising Matty Longstaff, Allan Saint-Maximin and DeAndre Yedlin.
The under-fire manager’s side were heavily criticised for a poor display last week against Leicester, suffering a 5-0 thrashing, but he believes some of the hate towards him has been ‘insulting’:
“I think the big thing about when you get beaten badly is the response. Of course there has been a lot of harsh words spoken but then you need your team to perform.”
Bruce has also spoken highly about the returning Saint-Maximin and Yedlin, also praising new Magpies hero Matty Longstaff, who scored the winning goal for his side on his Premier League debut:
“Two or three in Saint-Maximin and Yedlin hadn’t played in three or four months and it was great to see them. I was delighted with them.”
“Matty Longstaff has beaten Man U in his first game, I’ve been going 20 years! I’m delighted for everyone concerned. He’s been in and around my thoughts since China. He trains every day with a smile on his face, he’s refreshing, wants to play and he’s a great kid.”
“The first thing Matty said when he came off the field was thank you.”
I have always been a firm believer in giving credit where credit’s due, and Bruce definitely deserves credit for sticking his neck on the line and handing Matty Longstaff his Premier League debut, with his decision to start Saint-Maximin and Yedlin also paying dividends.
Bruce has been under severe pressure ever since taking the job at St James’ Park, and with his side desperate for a win, it would have been a lot easier for the manager to play a more experienced midfielder such as Ki Sung-Yueng. Had Newcastle lost, criticism would have no doubt been aimed at his selection of pairing the Longstaff brothers in midfield.
That was by far our best performance at home all season, with Saint-Maximin looking a real handful that could give us something extra going forward. Andy Caroll was also a real handful when he catome on, but whether he will ever be able to start a game is another thing.
Bruce now has a base to work with when it comes to selecting his best side, with both Longstaff brothers performance showing that they are more than capable of cementing regular starting positions in this poor Newcastle side. With Saint-Maximin looking the real deal out wide, it would be criminal for Bruce not to notice that we are only a proven goal scorer away from being a half-decent side.
Joelinton struggled and Almiron also spurned another big chance, so there’s two big areas to work on there, but there were so many positives to take from this one.
Let us hope the lads can produce more of the same at Chelsea next weekend.