Steve Bruce explains Newcastle United team selection amid criticism of Andy Carroll decision

Steve Bruce has given his view on his decision to leave Miguel Almiron out of his Newcastle United starting XI.

Monday, 21st September 2020, 7:30 am

Almiron came off the bench in yesterday’s 3-0 home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion. The midfielder replaced Andy Carroll, who had impressed in the club’s win over West Ham United the previous weekend.

Newcastle – who were 2-0 down inside the first eight minutes – never got going before the break. Brighton dominated possession, and Graham Potter’s side dealt with the long balls which were aimed at Carroll, who partnered Callum Wilson up front.

Almiron improved United in the second half, and head coach Bruce was asked after the Premier League game if he should have started ahead of Carroll amid criticism of the decision.

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Bruce said: "Look, hindsight’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Look, it doesn’t matter what you do if you give yourself a start like that. We didn’t get started.

"I understand your point (about Almiron), but if you’re 2-0 down after seven minutes, then it becomes difficult against a team who obviously base their style on possession and who made it very, very difficult for us.

"I think it would have been unfair on Andy with the performance he put in last week (against West Ham).”

Almiron had created Ryan Fraser’s winning goal in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Blackburn Rovers. The 26-year-old had also come off the bench and set up a goal for Jeff Hendrick against West Ham.

Andy Carroll.

Newcastle take on Morecambe in a third-round Carabao Cup tie at the Globe Arena on Wednesday night.