Steve Bruce makes decision on Joelinton amid fan frustration
Joelinton doesn’t yet speak fluent English, and that was probably a good thing as he laboured up front for Newcastle United at Rochdale.
The club’s travelling fans vented their frustration at Steve Bruce’s team – and £40million club-record signing Joelinton – during a fraught second half at Spotland, where the League One side came from behind to draw 1-1 in the FA Cup tie.
Supporters – who saw 40-year-old Aaron Wilbraham equalise for Rochdale – chanted “we’re f****** s***”.
However, Joelinton, still adjusting to the demands of English football, is set to keep his place for tomorrow’s Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.
And Bruce hopes it’s only a matter of time before the 23-year-old, signed from Hoffenheim last summer, adds to the solitary goal he scored against Tottenham Hotspur in late August.
“The only thing is to put your head down and keep working away,” said head coach Steve Bruce. “You cannot feel sorry for yourself. Hopefully, he didn’t understand the chants.
“We could all visibly see (that he was upset) when he missed a chance, but we all know there I something there. We saw that when he took the chance at Tottenham.
“He’s still young, the same age as Sean (Longstaff), and everyone calls him a youngster. So we have to keep persevering and keep working.
“We have to try to get him through it. He’s still young, but we all know that a centre-forward with No.9 on his back is a big burden to carry. But we keep working away.
“The good thing with Jo is he wants to learn. I’m convinced of that. It’s tough for him at the moment.”
Asked if he would play against Wolves, Bruce said: “I'll see what we have got. Two or three are back (from injury), but two or three lost from Rochdale, but yes, he’ll play.”
Southampton’s Danny Ings is the highest-scoring striker in the bottom half of the league with 13 goals.
“If you look at the bottom 10 or so, take Ings out of the equation, it’s very difficult,” said Bruce. “Who else is there? That’s why they cost so much and are paid so much. There aren’t many like that.”