Steve Bruce delivers 'brutally honest' verdict on Joelinton's latest Newcastle United performance

Joelinton’s performance on the left has given Steve Bruce “food for thought”.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 6:00 am

The striker was switched to the wing for Saturday’s game against Burnley, which ended in a 1-0 defeat for Newcastle United.

Joelinton, signed for £40million in the summer, previously payed there for former club Hoffenheim.

And the 23-year-old set up a late chance for substitute Dwight Gayle with a cross from the right.

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“Jo’s comfortable on the left, because he’s played there half his career at Hoffenheim,” said head coach Bruce, who was without injured wingers Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron. “He’s used to the role, and I thought he did OK without really being a goal threat. He did OK, he gave me food for thought, but we were down to bare numbers with a lack of wide players.

“With the injuries we’ve got, we felt that was the best way to go, and also physically, it meant we were able to compete as strongly as we could. I thought we did well with that in the main.”

Bruce now has a week to finalise his team for Saturday’s home game against Crystal Palace, for which Almiron could be available.

“It’s too early to say whether we’ll stick with this,” said Bruce. “We know he can play there, because he’s played there for Hoffenheim.

“There were times where he did well. He did well for the big chance for Dwight (Gayle). He drifted in and out a little bit too much if I’m going to be brutally honest, but it gives me food for thought.”