'He was stripped from the 15th minute!': Steve Bruce reveals just how keen Andy Carroll was to play

Andy Carroll’s rolling back the years at Newcastle United.

Jonjo Shelvey celebrates his goal with Andy Carroll.
Jonjo Shelvey celebrates his goal with Andy Carroll.

That was the view of Steve Bruce after the club moved up to 10th in the Premier League table following a 2-1 win over Southampton at St James’s Park.

Bruce left Carroll out of his starting XI – the striker had started Thursday night’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane – but he called on him before the hour-mark with his team trailing 1-0.

Carroll set up United’s equaliser, a far-post header from Jonjo Shelvey, and also helped out defensively.

“It was like the Andy Carroll of 10 years ago – he was everywhere,” said head coach Bruce. “What a ball for the goal – Jonjo hasn’t had to break his stride. I’m delighted for him. If he stays well, then he can be a big asset to us. He lifted the crowd.”


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Carroll rejoined Newcastle as a free agent in August as he recovered from ankle surgery. The 30-year-old – who also set up a goal for Shelvey at Bramall Lane – was stripped and ready to play in the 15th minute, according to Bruce.

“You’ve just seen how important Andy can be,” said Bruce. “He had the same impact the other night. He leads from the front, and the team respond to that.

“It’s OK being Andy Carroll, but you have to go out there and do it as well, and he did that. He was sitting behind me, and I think he was stripped from the 15th minute.

“Thankfully, he’s OK. He’s come on and won us the match.”