Bruno Guimaraes has opened up on a frustrating start to his first full season as a Newcastle United player.
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An absolute revelation after his move from Lyon in January, the Brazilian has been one of a number of key players to have suffered with injury problems during the opening stages of the campaign.
A hamstring problem picked up against Tranmere Rovers ruled Guimaraes out of four Premier League games between the draw with Manchester City and Saturday’s draw with Bournemouth, while Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin have also been missing in recent weeks.
Perhaps the most important injury for Eddie Howe to deal with, however, has been that of Jonjo Shelvey’s. Without him in the side, Guimaraes has largely had to operate in the deepest midfield role of a 4-3-3, as opposed to the more dynamic box-to-box berth he thrived in last season.
While the opening seven games have not been a disaster by any means, one victory is hugely disappointing. There have been, of course, mitigating circumstances in the form of injuries and controversial VAR decisions but the lack of attacking invention in recent weeks has been somewhat concerning.
What has Guimaraes said?
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the Brazil star said: “I was injured in the Man City game.
“I then tried to play in the Tranmere game (three days later). When I needed to run, I felt it a lot. For me, I thought I was just tired and I didn’t know I was even injured.
“After the Tranmere game, I spoke to the doctor and I wanted a scan. When we saw the scan we thought it (the injury) was small, but it was big.
“But I feel better now, I feel OK. It wasn’t my best game on Saturday, my first back after injury. I did not play for 20 days. Now I try to re-find my rhythm.”
Of his best position, Guimaraes said: “I can play both positions.
“I prefer to play the No.8. The No.6 I can help the team to move forward with the ball. I think the gaffer has a choice, I can play every position in midfield. I have played more in a No.8. But it is not a problem for me.”
When it comes to results, the player said: “We are disappointed with our start to the season (from a points perspective). We need to play better.
“All the teams will do this now [sit deep and frustrate] and we need to create alternatives. We are disappointed because we are creating opportunities, we just didn’t score. We lost two more points at home on Saturday. This cannot happen.”