Steve Bruce was full of praise after our 3-0 win against Sheffield United on Sunday – a game that turned out to be our best performance of the season!
Saint-Maximin, Ritchie and Joelinton got the goals to secure the three points in an empty St James’ Park, and the gaffer has sung the praises of all three – also revealing how the Brazilian suffered more than most over lockdown.
Speaking about man of the moment Joelinton, here’s what Bruce told the press after the game:
“We’re all delighted for him,”
“He probably suffered more in the lockdown, he had no family over and he was stuck in an apartment somewhere.
“It’s been difficult for him but I’m delighted for him because he’s a really good pro and he can only get better.”
Bruce then talked about the result itself, mocking the fact his biggest league win as NUFC’s manager has arrived when nobody’s been around to see it!
“After the restart the one thing you want to do is get off to a good start.
“We’ve got our big players playing at the top of the pitch and as we’ve seen today they can be a threat.
“My staff said to me it could only happen to me. Win 3-0 and nobody is here to see it.”
He also gave extra praise to man of the match Allan Saint-Maximin – a player he believes to be the most talented individual he’s ever worked with:
“Some of the stuff he does isn’t coachable – it’s just natural ability.
“Whether he’s dribbling around his dogs or his mates, who knows, but if he keeps improving it’s limitless to what he can achieve.
“He’s one of the most naturally gifted players I’ve worked with.”
Matt Ritchie was sporting an overgrown lockdown mop and many were surprised to see him included in the line-up over on-loan winger Valentino Lazaro.
However, he certainly repaid his manager with his selection as he doubled our lead with a screamer from 25 yards.
Here’s what Bruce had to say about his influential performance, which saw him play a part in 2 of our 3 goals:
“The lads that were the core of the team that won the Championship are still here and still performing very well.
“They’ve been around Newcastle and the club means something to them.
“They have a determination and a feistiness.
“You need that.”
A massive three points, safety all but secured for next season, Joelinton scoring and an FA Cup quarter-final to look forward to next weekend.
It’s not hard being a Newcastle fan after all!