Steve Bruce reacts to 'big statement' at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce says the Longstaff brothers made a “big statement” at St James’s Park.
Matty Longstaff.Matty Longstaff.
Matty Longstaff.

A second-half strike from Matty Longstaff saw Newcastle United win their first home game under Bruce, who had never previously won a game against Manchester United, his former club, as a manager.

Longstaff, 19, had been handed his Premier League debut alongside his elder brother Sean by Bruce, who reshuffled his midfield in the wake of last weekend’s 5-0 defeat to Leicester City.

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Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s beleaguered side lifted the club out of the relegation zone and into 16th place.

“The big thing I have said all week is when you get beaten badly, you need a reaction and a response,” said Bruce.

“There have been a lot of harsh words spoken, and rightly so, but one thing you do need is that reaction.

“We’ve had two or three, (DeAndre) Yedlin and Allan (Saint-Maximin) in particular, who haven’t played for months. It was threat to see, and I was delighted with the performance.”

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Longstaff – who struck the crossbar in the first half – beat David de Gea with a 20-yard shot after a good run forward from Allan Saint-Maximin.

“It’s quite ironic that Matty Longstaff has beaten them in his first game,” said Bruce. “I’ve been gone 20-odd years (without a win).

“I’m delighted for everyone concerned. The response was the great thing. Matty hit one in exactly the same position against Saint-Etienne (in pre-season). We’ve seen him in training. He smashed it in the net, and it was great.

“It’s great to see a local kid play alongside his brother. To score in your debut against Man United – I don’t think I’ve witnessed any better ones. He wasn’t fazed by it at all. Great, delighted for him.

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“The way the temperament of the two of them, I knew they would bounce off each other. That was the best I’ve seen Sean play for a long time too. His brother’s breathing on his toes, which is great.

“They will have bumps on the roads before we can say they’re fully established, but the two have made a big statement today.”