Steve Bruce gives his view on Sean Longstaff's form

Sean Longstaff needs to get “back to basics” at Newcastle United.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 6:00 am

That’s the verdict of Steve Bruce ahead of Saturday’s Premier League home game against Norwich City.

Longstaff, superb this time last year after breaking into Rafa Benitez’s team, has struggled for form during what the midfielder has described as a “stop-start” campaign which has been interrupted injuries and a suspension.

The 22-year-old, a target for Manchester United last summer, was in the side held to a goalless draw by League One club Oxford United at St James’s Park on Saturday.

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Sean Longstaff.

“I think Sean has found it difficult with the injury, all the hype around him, and this, that and the other,” said head coach Bruce, who now has to contend with a fourth-round FA Cup replay during the Premier League’s winter break.

“Like any young player, he just has to go back to the basics and get back to what he does well. At the moment, he’s having a tough time.

“Where everything has been on a real upward curve for Sean, at the moment he’s finding it tough.

“That happens when they’re young, they go up and down, and the only way you can get through that as a young player is to go back to basics and let the football look after itself.”

A new contract has been on the agenda for Longstaff last March, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury. The club is also in contract discussions with Matty, his 19-year-old sibling.