Steve Bruce believes NUFC new boy Valentino Lazaro played “very well” at Crystal Palace and was “arguably our best player” – despite his late red card at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
It was only the Austrian’s second start for the club following his loan move from Inter Milan last month, coming after a mixed full debut at the Emirates which saw him show promise on the ball but play a part in two of Arsenal’s four goals.
Many feared for him up against Palace talisman Wilfred Zaha, but he gave as good as he got and was one of few Newcastle players to show some quality on the ball, make good runs and get at the out of form Eagles.
Here’s what he had to say about the 23-year-old’s red and his display on the whole:
“With 10 seconds to go, does the referee really have to send him off?
“Is a yellow not sufficient?
“But rules are rules, and we will abide by it.
“He played very well.
“He was disappointed because I thought he was our best player today. He was terrific against Zaha.
“I thought Tino was arguably our best player today.
“We didn’t find him enough – in wide areas, we ignored the lad.
“We needed to get it out to him, but he played very well.”
His dismissal – which was needless in the circumstances – has clearly left a sour taste in the mouth’s of many who were tuning in on Tyneside, but I believe he was one of VERY few outfield players who could’ve come away with some credit if it wasn’t for his late red.
As a result he’ll now miss this weekend’s visit of Burnley, however I am a confident he’ll be seen as a handy signing until the end of the season before long.