Steve Bruce has praised Sean Longstaff for staying patient and grasping his chance after returning to the Newcastle United side over the past few weeks.
Prior to his surprise start against Spurs the weekend before last, the midfielder had played just 14 minutes of football over the previous two months.
He’d slipped behind Shelvey, Willock and Hendrick in the pecking order and was rumoured to have fallen out with the manager in training following that 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United, however he’s taken his chance with both hands following a season-ending injury to Isaac Hayden.
He impressed in our 2-2 draw with Tottenham and, despite a sloppy first half, put in a brilliant shift in the second 45 to help us to a huge win over Burnley on Sunday.
Here’s what Bruce has had to say about the 23-year-old:
“Certainly, he’s played very, very well. I was very pleased with him.
“He’s had a good week.
“He played very well coming back. This is what we wanted him to do.
“I’m pleased for him as he had to wait, be patient. He’s seen Joe Willock arrive.
“He’s took on the baton, good for him.”
Although it’s good to see Longstaff back in the side and battling away in Hayden’s absence, it really is baffling that Bruce has opted to play the likes of Hendrick and Bentaleb ahead of him over the past 12 months.
Let’s hope he can stay fit, get back to something close to the form he showed under Rafa Benitez and kick on – not spend months on the sidelines wasting away.