Matty Longstaff reflects on his extraordinary breakthrough at Newcastle United
Matty Longstaff’s ready to go it alone at Newcastle United.
The teenage midfielder hopes to make his fourth successive Premier League start on Saturday, when Steve Bruce’s 17th-placed side take on West Ham United in the Premier League.
Up to now, Longstaff has had his elder brother Sean by his side in midfield.
However, the 22-year-old, sent off in the 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’s Park last weekend, will serve the first game of a three-match ban at the London Stadium.
Bruce, United's head coach, has Isaac Hayden back from suspension, while Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yueng are also available.
“Obviously, playing with Sean makes things a lot easier given how good he is on the ball,” said Longstaff.
“He probably gets you out of trouble a bit. Obviously, not playing with him, if I do play, would be a bit tough, but we’ve got other good players who could come in. We’ve got good players there, so we’ll just wait and see.”
Longstaff was handed his debut against Manchester United after Bruce lost Hayden, who was sent off in last month’s 5-0 defeat to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
The 19-year-old scored against Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side at St James’s Park – and started against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge the following weekend.
It's been a steep, but enjoyable, learning curve for a player who had expected to be sent out on loan an EFL club this season.
Longstaff said: “It’s tough, but it’s where you want to be at the end of the day.
“I think, whenever you get a chance, you’ve got to take it. I don’t think it really matters if you’re 19 years old or 20-odd years old when you get a chance. You’ve got to try and take it, and I think you have to keep on doing well to stay in the team. The biggest thing for me is trying to carry on doing well.
“I know I’m young, but I feel I can play at this level. I think I need to try and perform to show that. If I keep doing well, I might stay in the team. That’s the biggest thing.”