This is what Joelinton is REALLY like behind the scenes at Newcastle United
It was, unquestionably, the moment of the night.
Joelinton ended a 20-game goal drought with a late strike in Newcastle United’s 4-1 FA Cup win over Rochdale at St James’s Park on Tuesday night.
The striker, signed from Hoffenheim last summer for £40million, ran to embrace head coach Steve Bruce, who has defended him week after week.
Jamaal Lascelles, United’s captain, was watching from the bench, having come off earlier in the game.
“You could see everyone's reaction the minute he scored,” said Lascelles. “I was jumping up – and nearly went on the pitch!
“He's a really good player, and it's tough for him. He's playing up there by himself most games and fighting centre-halves. He does do a lot for the team, and now he's got a goal. Hopefully, it can give him the confidence to start banging in more goals for us.”
Joelinton, still learning English, didn’t speak to journalists after the third-round replay.
However, Lascelles – who made his comeback from injury in the game – has given an insight into how the 23-year-old’s mindset at Newcastle, where he has been under intense scrutiny since his club-record move.
Asked what Joelinton was like in the dressing room, Lascelles said: “That's what probably makes it even harder for us to see him go weeks and weeks and weeks without scoring.
“You just want him to score. He's a great professional. He's there early and puts in the work at training, is in the gym and keeps his head down, and doesn't moan about anything.
“He genuinely does care and works hard for the club, so I was over the moon for him to get a little relief, and hopefully it can boost him for more games to come.”
On his comeback from a cracked tibia, Lascelles said: “It's the first time I've had a long-term injury, so it's been tough seeing the boys go and train every day and you just go to the gym. I just worked hard, so it's a big relief.”
Lascelles could now be involved in Saturday’s Premier League game against Chelsea at St James’s Park.