Steve Bruce has admitted he got it wrong with Miguel Almiron last weekend – accepting he should, ‘in hindsight’, have started the Paraguayan in that 0-3 battering against Brighton.
The NUFC boss went with a 4-4-2 against the Seagulls, believing it would be ‘unfair’ not to stick with Andy Carroll and the same side that beat West Ham 2-0 the week before.
That said, his decision backfired and we never got to grips with Brighton’s formation, and he’s now accepted that he made the wrong call leaving the former MLS star on the sidelines.
Here’s what he’s had to say:
“Sometimes when you’re picking the team you have to make difficult decisions.
“Everybody knows what I think of him and he’s been unlucky not to have started in the league.
“In hindsight I maybe should have brought him back for Brighton.”
With three assists and a goal in just 201 minutes of action so far this season, it should be a no-brainer that he starts on Sunday against Spurs.
Here’s what the gaffer had to say, starting with our £40m Brazilian:
“Getting on the scoresheet doesn’t do you any harm.
“We all know there’s a talent there.
“When you see his second goal you – you have to have ability to score a goal like that.
“We hope it gives him that bit of confidence.
“He’s just got to keep working hard at it.”
Let’s hope this has given him a much needed confidence boost, but also showed the manager that you need options ahead of him and a certain style of football to play to his strengths. If Bruce wants him to come good, we can’t return to him being isolated up top and feeding off scraps or long balls.
Last but not least, the boss has been full of praise for Jacob Murphy in today’s press conference, saying he’s impressed him all summer – not just in his stunning display on Wednesday night:
“It wasn’t just his performance the other night.
“Since we’ve come back and he’s come back from Sheffield Wednesday, he’s not missed a day’s training and been very decent in the warm-up games.
“I’ve been very, very pleased with his progress.
“The loan situation has helped him and he’s done very well.
“I’m pleased for him. He’s grasped the opportunity.”
Almiron will almost certainly return to Bruce’s starting 11 on Sunday, but it’ll be interesting to see if Joelinton or Murphy can force their way back into his first team this weekend.