Sean Longstaff reveals how he came through a 'tough' few months at Newcastle United
The midfielder has started Newcastle United’s last three league and cup games – and is preparing to face Chelsea at St James’s Park tomorrow.
Longstaff hasn’t had an extended run in the team since the second half of last season when he broke through amid a midfield injury crisis.
The 22-year-old’s campaign was ended by an injury, and he has since had to contend with speculation over his future, a three-game suspension and another spell in the treatment room.
Longstaff admitted after the weekend’s 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers that a stop-start few months – and talk of a move away from St James’s Park – took a toll on his form.
“I think I had in six months a speeded-up process of making my debut, scoring a goal, getting injured, speculation, manager leaving, getting injured again and getting sent off,” said Longstaff, who has been playing alongside his younger brother Matty.
“I had everything in the space of six months! So, for me, it’s been pretty tough, I’ll be honest with you. It’s been tough at times. That’s why you’ve got to have good people around you.
“I’ve got that in the lads in the dressing room and my family at home. They’ve helped get me through it. Hopefully, I’m through that now and focusing on trying to play every week and put in performances.”
Longstaff's form last season alerted Manchester United, who were prepared to pay £35million for him last summer.
Newcastle, however, made it clear that he was not for sale. The Old Trafford club has again been linked with Longstaff in this month’s transfer window, but he will be staying on Tyneside.
A new contract for Longstaff has been on agenda since March, when he suffered a season-ending injury.
United are also in talks with 19-year-old Matty over a new deal with his contract at the club set to expire at the end of the campaign.
Meanwhile, head coach Steve Bruce has Jonjo Shelvey available for the Chelsea game. Shelvey came off the bench in Tuesday night’s 4-1 FA Cup win over Rochdale.