Sean Longstaff has admitted that he was “really disappointed” by Steve Bruce’s decision to drop his younger brother Matty for Newcastle United’s clash against West Ham earlier this month.
After Sean, 22, was sent off and handed a three-match ban in the 1-1 draw against Wolves, Bruce replaced the two brothers in his starting line-up with Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden.
Shelvey scored for the Magpies in what ended up as a 3-2 win and while Sean understands that it is a team game, he could not help feel letdown by Bruce’s decision to replace Matty.
“That’s football, isn’t it? Things aren’t going to go your way all the time. From my point of view, I knew I wasn’t going to play (against West Ham), but I thought Matty would,” he said, as quoted by the Chronicle.
“When he got left out, I was obviously really disappointed for him, but the manager made a decision and Jonjo came in and scored and Isaac came in and did really well. It’s a squad game at the end of the day and we’re going to need everyone.”
It is natural for Sean to feel that. He must have felt as though his red card against Wolves also meant that his younger brother’s spot in the starting line-up was also affected because Bruce would only play Matty when he is available. Either way, Bruce’s decision has since been justified because Shelvey scored what turned out to be the winner against West Ham and Hayden has rediscovered his form in the last two matches, where the Magpies have won twice. The two Longstaff brothers now need to get their heads down and force their way back into the side. Newcastle’s winning streak will not last forever and Shelvey is still yet to convince a lot of fans that he is a long-term option in the centre of the midfield. Even though he was sent off recently, Sean still seems more likely to play than Matty, but both of them together just seem to complement each other so well.