Steve Bruce defends Newcastle United's £21m man Miguel Almiron amid fan criticism after Newcastle United draw

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has jumped to defend Miguel Almiron amid fan criticism of the Paraguayan.

Sunday, 1st September 2019, 8:00 am
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United is challenged by Ben Foster of Watford during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Watford FC at St. James Park on August 31, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

£21million man Almiron missed two gilt-edged chances at St James’s Park as United dropped two home points against bottom of the table Watford, recording a 1-1 draw.

That’s led to some fans on social media calling for the player – signed by former manager Rafa Benitez in January – to be dropped from the Magpies’ starting XI.

But Bruce has launched a defence of the player – even if he does admit he needs a goal.

“He is an absolute joy to work with day-in, day-out,” said Bruce.

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“He just needs a little break, the ball to fall in front of him and it’s practically a tap in.

“He just needs one to get him off and running.

“The two big chances fell to him but he showed energy, appetite and enthusiasm, we just need him to score a bit more.”

The player transformed United when signed by Benitez, adding pace and direct running to the side. His style suited Benitez’s counter attack style perfectly.

A slight change in position this season has not reaped rewards in front of goal for the former MLS star under Bruce.

Is the player lacking confidence at present?

“No. I think he plays with confidence,” said Bruce.

“He takes the ball, he just needs to get off and running.

“I see his goals every day in training.

“He just needs one to go in off his backside and he will be off.”