Steve Bruce: 'I was rejected everywhere – and I still am!'

Steve Bruce says he knows exactly how Matty Longstaff felt when he was rejected by Newcastle United – as he had the same experience.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 11:30 pm
Steve Bruce congratulates Matty Longstaff.
Steve Bruce congratulates Matty Longstaff.

Longstaff spoke about his experience as a 10-year-old at the club’s Academy after scoring on his Premier League debut against Manchester United.

“I walked out crying,” said the 19-year-old, who will keep his place for this afternoon’s game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. "When you look back at it, it probably fired me up to get where I am. It really p****d me off.

“Looking back, being able to do what I’ve done since then, it all comes from that moment.”

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Longstaff quickly returned to the club – and hasn’t looked back since. The midfielder, out of contract at the end of the season, is set to be rewarded with a new deal.

Bruce – who grew up in Wallsend – was rejected by United, his boyhood club and started his professional career at Gillingham.

Newcastle’s head coach went on to win the Premier League three times with Man United.

Asked about Longstaff's early setback, Bruce said: “I’ve only heard about that in one or two of the interviews I’ve read, but there’s nothing wrong with a rejection.

“He was rejected once, and brought back. I was rejected everywhere – and I still am!

“I just thought there is no bloody way I’m going to go and work in that shipyard. I did work experience in that ship yard and I thought ‘Jesus, I can’t work in there’, so going to Gillingham was a bit of a relief.

“It’s not nice the way a rejection feels, but it is hope you respond to it, because we’ve all seen it, we all need a break and for somebody you can trust who is going to give you one.

“That’s the first part. The next part is keeping at it, to stay in the team, and to work on what they have got, which is great.

“We will do our best to protect them.”