Steve Bruce gives his verdict on Nabil Bentaleb's Newcastle United debut

Nabil Bentaleb got 80 minutes under his belt on his Newcastle United debut – and he’ll be better for it.

Bentaleb, signed this week on loan from Schalke 04, had last played a first-team game in April last year.

And head coach Steve Bruce has reacted to his performance in yesterday’s FA Cup tie against Oxford United at St James’s Park, which ended goalless.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I thought Bentaleb did OK,” said Bruce. “It’s his first game for four months, and he nearly got through it. He tired towards the end, which is normal, I expected him to, but he’ll be fine. He handles the ball well, and he’ll be fine.”

Steve Bruce.Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

Reflecting on the fourth-round tie, Bruce said: “Frustrated, disappointed, upset. From the first minute to the last, we were never good enough in possession, the way we gave the ball away. Our whole demeanour wasn’t right.”