Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff has leaped to a passionate defence of embittered Magpies head coach Steve Bruce.
The former Sheffield Wednesday chief has been under fire from certain sections of the club’s support essentially since he was appointed, but the younger Longstaff feels that the criticism has been undeserved.
“I can’t thank him enough just for putting me in against Manchester United,” he told the Shields Gazette. “He’s been getting a lot of stick I don’t think he deserves, and a lot of people have had a go at him.
“For him to back me, a 19-year-old kid, against Manchester United to go out and do what I did, I can only thank him. A lot of managers, under pressure at such a big club, pressure game against Man U, on telly, a lot would look at what they’ve got in the dressing room and probably gone for experience. Thankfully for me, he saw what I’d did in training. Maybe I’d caught his eye a little bit, and he put me in.”
These are interesting comments from Longstaff. The big thing with the Longstaff brothers is that they are both Newcastle fans, local lads who have come through the club’s academy and gone on to play together alongside each other against Manchester United. With that said, does Matty really think that the criticism Bruce has got has been undeserved? He’s a Newcastle fan, so he can surely understand why some Magpies supporters weren’t happy about the club allowing a world class manager in Rafael Benitez to walk out the door only to replace him with a Championship boss. Yes, some of the stick he’s had has been a bit too much, particularly the sort he got before he’d even taken charge of a league game, but you can’t expect people to be overjoyed with his appointment following on from Benitez. Still, credit to him for going with the younger Longstaff against Man United. He could have gone with Ki Sung-yueng or Jonjo Shelvey, but he took a risk and it paid off big time.