- Matty Longstaff was given his league debut at the expense of Jonjo Shelvey
- Longstaff responded by smashing the winning goal against Manchester United
- The academy midfielder kept his Newcastle place for the next two matches
- But Shelvey returned for last weekend’s trip to West Ham and scored for his side
Steve Bruce says the breakthrough of Matty Longstaff has given Jonjo Shelvey (above) a boost
Longstaff (R), 19, was thrown his Premier League debut at the expense of recalling Shelvey
Bruce has revealed that winger Matt Ritchie will miss the Bournemouth game on Saturday
Steve Bruce says the breakthrough of Matty Longstaff has given Jonjo Shelvey the ‘kick up the backside’ he needed.
Longstaff, 19, was thrown his Premier League debut at the expense of recalling Shelvey for last month’s visit of Manchester United and he responded by smashing the winning goal.
The academy midfielder kept his place for the next two matches but Shelvey returned for last weekend’s trip to West Ham and he was on the scoresheet in a 3-2 victory.
Yellow cards: 0
Red Cards: 0
The senior man will keep his place for Saturday’s home clash with Bournemouth, and Bruce said: ‘He responded in the right way to being left out and trained the right way. The emergence of Matty has given him the kick up the backside he needed.
‘We all know Jonjo is a very decent player. He set the standard last week and hopefully he will repeat that this week.’
Shelvey, 27, has been plagued by a thigh injury for most of the year and has struggled to reproduce the form that saw him touted for a place in England’s World Cup squad last year.
Bruce added: ‘He has tried to play through that thigh injury, but the one thing you can’t do is carry someone.’
Meanwhile, Bruce has revealed that winger Matt Ritchie will miss the Bournemouth game after suffering a setback following ankle surgery.
‘Matt was going along so well, but he has had a bit of reaction to training,’ added the head coach.
‘He was going along nicely, when it is pretty serious after being operated on, but we thought he was back 10 days ago.
‘But he has pulled up in training and we will give him time off and let nature do its thing.’