Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce delivers his verdict on goalscoring Brazilian striker Joelinton's Spurs showing

Steve Bruce believes striker Joelinton is saving his best for the Newcastle United’s Premier League relegation run-in, as the head coach hailed the Brazilian’s Spurs show as his best in black and white.

Sunday, 4th April 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th April 2021, 4:55 pm
Joelinton of Newcastle United celebrates with team mates after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on April 04, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The 24-year-old has struggled to even get close to justifying the club record £40m United shelled out on him in the summer of 2019, scoring just four Premier League goals in nearly two seasons on Tyneside.

Joelinton did, however, pop up with the opener in the Magpies’ 2-2 home draw with Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur – and Bruce was delighted to see his often under-fire striker produce the goods, even if he thinks the player should have had a Spurs double.

“He has had it tough,” Bruce said of the frontman.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"The one thing about Joe is he doesn't shy away from it. The chance in the second half you hope he hits the back of the net. He keeps rolling up his sleeves. He has to improve his goals, we need to make sure we work on that.

"But over a tough few weeks, where we have been without our front players, he has played well.

"Today was arguably his best.”

While Bruce must be content with a point, he believes United earned all three but for some poor defending at St James’ Park.

“Our performance was enough to win the match,” he said.

"That’s my opinion of course and the result tinged with a bit of disappointment. That is the best we've played in a long while.

“We conceded awful goals but kept at it and got something out of the game, which is vitally important.”