Steve Bruce explains Dwight Gayle's lack of football at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce has explained why Dwight Gayle has only played seven minutes of Premier League football this season.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:30 pm

Gayle, recruited from Crystal Palace five years ago by former manager Rafa Benitez, signed a new contract at Newcastle United in the summer following the expiry of his old deal.

However, the 30-year-old striker’s only start so far this term has come in the Carabao Cup – despite the loss of No.9 Callum Wilson to injury in August.

“I think it’s just the way we’ve played, you know, the way the team has played,” said head coach Bruce. “We’ve played a 4-3-3. It’s just unfortunate that the formation that we’ve dropped into.

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"But, look, I’ve said many, many times, we all know Dwight’s capabilities, and he’s still got a big part to play. Unfortunately, he hasn’t played as often as he would like and, certainly, other people would like. That could go for two, three, four, five of the players as well.

Winless Newcastle are 17th in the Premier League ahead of tomorrow’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Bruce, however, has been heartened by recent performances, most recently that in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Watford at Vicarage Road, where Gayle came off the bench in the 83rd minute.

"The performances of late, in my opinion, have been OK,” said Bruce, who revealed after his appointment at United that he had tried to sign Gayle three times earlier in his managerial career.

Dwight Gayle in pre-season.

“He’s a bit frustrated, Dwight, of course, but he’s trained well, and has got a big part to play.”

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