Longstaff set for third start in a row v Wolves

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 head coach Bruce has all but confirmed that young central midfielder will start against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

The welcome Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to St James’ Park having been hoisted out of the relegation zone by Southampton’s 9-0 collapse against on Friday night.

And Bruce has intimated that the younger Longstaff will feature from the beginning once again: “Well, it’s Matty’s third game in a row, but it’s not midweek,” he said, as per the Northern Echo.

“Look, the one thing we are going to have to do is manage him. He couldn’t have asked for a more difficult couple of games, let’s be fair, Manchester United and Chelsea. But he’s bounced around the training ground all week, so we’ll see.”


Clearly Bruce has no issues whatsoever in throwing Longstaff into the fire for a third time in succession on Sunday. Isaac Hayden is serving the last game of his three game ban against Santo’s side, and so Bruce was always likely to stick with the Longstaff brothers central midfield combination which has served his team well in the past few weeks. The Manchester United game was obviously the one where the younger Longstaff burst onto the scene initially, but things didn’t go quite as well against Chelsea last time out. Still, what’s he going to do, play Jonjo Shelvey or instead? Shelvey has had plenty of chances to secure himself a first team spot this season, but has flattered to deceive as ever. Ki, meanwhile, simply doesn’t seem to be starter material. Bruce might as well ride things out with the two until Hayden comes back, at which point he will have a big decision to make. But, as the boss says, it’s about managing the 19-year-old correctly.

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