Matty Longstaff has been 'like a kid in a sweet shop', says Newcastle manager Steve Bruce
Bruce on Matty Longstaff: "I don't think I've witnessed as good a debut - not just because he scored a goal, although that caps it off - but it was the way he played in the whole game."
Last Updated: 18/10/19 11:22am
Steve Bruce says Matty Longstaff has been "like a kid in a sweet shop" since scoring the winner in their 1-0 win over Manchester United before the international break.
The 19-year-old, along with his older brother Sean, are among the bright young prospects at St James' Park.
Bruce insists he had no hesitation in handing Longstaff his debut in the clash with Manchester United but is keen for the club to look after their talented youngsters.
"He's been like a kid in a sweet shop," said Bruce. "It's been refreshing for us all, his interview beamed out of the TV. He brought a refreshing humility to us all again.
"It was a wonderful debut from the kid. Our role now is to help him, protect him and nurture him along the way.
"He's got a big, big future ahead of him and what a great start. He's going to handle what comes his way now, so hopefully we can help him in that respect.
"I don't think I've witnessed as good a debut - not just because he scored a goal, although that caps it off - but it was the way he played in the whole game. It was terrific.
"From day one he's been knocking on the door and it's always been a case of, 'when do I put him in?'
"The circumstances were right. I didn't think, 'Manchester United, live on the TV.' It was all about him.
"Since I joined up with the squad in China a few weeks ago, he is the one that has constantly performed well in training and his enthusiasm is there for everyone to see. He deserved his chance."
As for whether he will play against Chelsea on Saturday, Bruce added: "How could I leave him out?"
Matty Longstaff's contract runs out next summer and Bruce admits they are keen to keep hold of him and his 21-year-old brother, who made an impact in the Newcastle first team before injury curtailed his season last campaign.
Bruce added: "That's going to be above me but one thing you don't want to do is to lose your best players, so I am sure we will be all out to get that tied up - and his brother - which is vitally important.
"There are one or two in discussions with the club at the minute, so I'm sure we'll move that along in the next week or two."
Lascelles: Longstaff exactly what we need
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles says Matty Longstaff's breakthrough into the first team is exactly what the club needed.
Bruce now hopes his side can follow up the positive result against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side by getting something out of their trip to Stamford Bridge, where they will face an in-form Chelsea side that has won their last four matches in all competitions.
"We need to put in another big performance," said Bruce. "We've seen we're capable, but the big thing is consistency - especially away, it has to be better.
"The Manchester United result gave everyone a lift at the right time. Now we're going to try and do it again.
"The last four games, there's a certain way they've become accustomed to playing. We all know how many good young players they've got. Away to Chelsea in the Premier League era - they've always been a big team."
Bruce also praised his opposite number Frank Lampard, who is beginning to mould his Chelsea side to his requirements, despite having to operate under a transfer embargo.
"It's great to see someone like Frank given the opportunity," he said. "There was a while when it didn't seem as though anyone of his generation would go into management or coaching. Gerrard, Lampard and that generation are doing well now.
"He's a great lad and he was a great player. For all of us - but especially when you're young like Frank - the one thing you do require is patience. It's been a whirlwind 12 months for him but he's making a fist of it, and it's great to see."