Joelinton goal at Spurs helping him grow at Newcastle, says Steve Bruce
Last Updated: 27/08/19 10:27am
Steve Bruce believes Joelinton's winning goal in Newcastle's 1-0 win at Tottenham will help him "grow" into being the club's No 9.
Having lost their first two matches of the new season, the pressure was already on new Newcastle boss Bruce going into a difficult trip to Tottenham on Sunday.
However, Newcastle earned a surprise victory courtesy of a winner from record-signing Joelinton after a fine, flowing 17-pass move, and Bruce was pleased to see his frontline striker get off the mark.
"It was a terrific goal. I was not aware it was that many passes myself to be honest," Bruce said. "We did go from one end of the pitch to the other. It was a great pass from (Christian) Atsu and a great finish from big Joe.
"For him in particular, when you come here, wearing the number nine, he is 22 years old and with all the stuff that comes with that, I am delighted for him.
"Last week he had a big opportunity at Norwich, unfortunately he missed it. But [the Spurs goal] got him off and running and we saw, there and then, him just grow into the player that we know he is.
"Centre-forwards thrive on scoring a goal at it was good to see him get it."
Bruce is determined to field a strong side in Wednesday night's Carabao Cup second-round clash with Leicester despite a lengthy injury list.
The Magpies emerged from Sunday's hard-fought win with defenders Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar, midfielder Atsu and frontmen Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton all struggling.
"I've got a few knocks and bumps and bruises," Bruce added. "Big Joe has played when really he was sore with a groin, so he's a bit of a doubt. Almiron's a doubt, Schar's a doubt, Jamaal's a doubt, Atsu's a doubt, so I've got a few who are carrying a few things.
"The one thing I can't do, as I've just done with Allan, is if there's a slight risk... I'll have to be wary of the fact that I've got a few carrying a few knocks. Atsu in particular trained for three or four days and he did far more than I thought he was going to do, so he's a bit sore this morning as you can imagine."