This is what Steve Bruce had to say about Alan Shearer's criticism

Steve Bruce says Alan Shearer will always “say what he sees” – after Newcastle United’s recruitment came under fire.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 8:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 8:40 am

Shearer, the club’s all-time record goalscorer, criticised Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron after the weekend’s goalless draw against Norwich City.

“Almiron works hard, never lacks effort, but not enough quality at times,” said Shearer on Match of the Day. “Saint-Maximin shows flashes of brilliance, but doesn’t show it enough, and looks lazy at times also.

“Joelinton has no confidence whatsoever, and basically never looks like scoring. Fans are entitled to ask and demand more of those three for £80million.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Alan Shearer at the Kassam Stadium.

However, it was a different story last night. Shearer was at the Kassam Stadium last night to see Joelinton and Saint-Maximin find the net in a 3-2 extra-time win over Oxford United in a fourth-round FA Cup replay.

Shearer, sat in a TV box next to the away section, was serenaded by the club’s 1,800 travelling fans.

“I’ve known Alan for a long time, and class him as a friend now,” said Bruce, Newcastle’s head coach. “However, he has to say what he sees, and that’s never going to change with Alan. He was here, and that was good for the supporters.”

Shearer told of his relief after the game, which was decided by a 116th-minute goal from Saint-Maximin.

“That’s fantastic from Saint-Maximin,” said Shearer. “The way he moves it past the defenders – you know he wants to come onto his right foot. Has he got the ability to finish it off? Yes.”