Steve Bruce reveals why he played Fabian Schar ahead of Matty Longstaff in Newcastle United's midfield

Steve Bruce has revealed why he persevered with Fabian Schar in midfield – and left Matty Longstaff on the bench.

Saturday, 11th July 2020, 4:51 pm
Matty Longstaff, right, with Emil Krafth, centre, and Valentino Lazaro.
Matty Longstaff, right, with Emil Krafth, centre, and Valentino Lazaro.

Watford came from behind to beat Newcastle United 2-1 at Vicarage Road this afternoon. Dwight Gayle gave Bruce’s side a first-half lead, but Troy Deeney scored two second-half penalties to claim all three points for the home side.

Injury-hit Bruce had opted for the “physicality” of defender Schar over midfelder Longstaff’s athleticism.

Asked if there was any reason why he didn’t start Longstaff, United’s head coach said: “No, I just thought we needed his physicality. His physicality was important to us. I think he did really well to be honest. It’s something we’ve done in training and worked on.”

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Contract talks with Longstaff – who hasn’t started a Premier League game since January – are deadlocked. However, Bruce has previously insisted that the 20-year-old’s contractual situation won’t influence his selection.