Steve Bruce declares Matty Longstaff’s absence and joins the club’s reserve team


Steve Bruce has explained why Matty Longstaff was transferred to the Newcastle reserve team this week after being featured in the Mini Tyne Wear Derby at the Academy of Light.

The 20-year-old played 90 minutes of the 1-1 draw after leaving the senior squad since mid-January, along with his older brother Sean, who hasn’t played since the 1-0 loss to Sheffield United Has.

But Bruce insists he has no qualms about bringing back England U20 international Matty – he just has to be patient.

Bruce said at his weekly press conference, “He wasn’t gone.

“Matty just didn’t find himself on the team, someone so young you remember he was only 20.

“It’s important that we find some playing time so that he can get below the belt.

“It was an opportunity for him to get 90 minutes, which is never bad, but most importantly, so young.”

Bruce then played down any riot talk between himself and Longstaff, whom he made his Premier League debut last season.

Bruce continued, “It’s okay, look, I have the same thing every other week – I can only choose 11.

“I have 15 others who are struggling with teeth.

“Matty is not on the team right now but let’s not forget that he has a huge future, that is out of the question.

“He had a big climb last year and is now leaving the team.

“He has to stick with it, his time will come again, that’s for sure.”

Bruce hopes Newcastle’s injury crisis will have eased by the end of the March internationals.

With Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin injured, Bruce believes they are on their way to a return in April.

The head coach said: “Nature has to do its thing.

“The medical department works as hard as it can.

“Maybe it can give us a turn after the international break. We hope they are there or close by.”

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