The big man’s early miss left fans sat at home with heads in hands, however Shearer was left impressed by FOUR things he did from that point onwards – his ability to keep going, his improved movement into good areas, his work rate and his goal.
Speaking to Coral, here’s what Shearer had to say when asked about Sunday’s win, picking out the formerly under-fire striker for special praise:
“Well you sound so surprised, I wasn’t surprised at all (laughs).
“Yes I was, I thought it was a very good performance, obviously a great result.
“We benefited from the sending off and rightly so, two yellow cards, and Joelinton got his goal.
“We were secretly worried when he (Joelinton) went through one on one in the first half, fluffed that big opportunity.
“But to his credit, he kept going, he kept getting into positions, worked very hard and got the goal.
“The goal that he and Newcastle deserved.
“So to score three and to get three huge point, which should banish any talk of relegation now for Newcastle.
“It was a great day for Newcastle.”
Considering Shearer declared Joelinton was ‘not a centre-forward’ after his dire display at Rochdale a few months ago, it’s good to see the former NUFC number 9 saw some clear signs of improvement from the 23-year-old on Sunday.
The game changing red card for Egan wouldn’t have come without his work rate, fight and sheer power, but it was his movement and drive to get into good positions that was the most noticeable difference for me.
He still has a LONG way to go – as his awful finish in the first half proves – however my biggest issue with him before the break was not his finishing, but more his lack of urgency to get into good attacking areas.
Bruce said this was a key area he’d been working on since the players returned to training and, if Sunday’s first game back was anything to go by, you can tell!
Let’s hope we see more of the same tonight!