Steve Bruce explains his big Matty Longstaff decision at Newcastle United after Manchester City hammering

Steve Bruce has explained his decision to field Fabian Schar in midfield – and leave Matty Longstaff on the bench.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 2:23 pm
Steve Bruce.

Newcastle United were beaten 5-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last night.

Bruce, without a number of players due to injuries, moved defender Schar into midfield despite having fit-again Longstaff available.

United’s head coach has previously said that Longstaff’s contract situation – the 20-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and talks on a new deal are deadlocked – would not affect his selection.

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Asked about his team selection, Bruce said: “Matty’s only been training for the last week. So I thought it was a big call for him as well to get him started.

"I wanted to have Fab Schar. He’s been playing in midfield in the training ground area, and I wanted to have a look at that. We could talk about formations and this, that and the other, and players playing where they were playing … I thought those two were arguably our best performers.

"Whatever we do, whichever way we play, we’ve got to show a bit more resilience than what we put up with. If you don’t do the basics right, they’re going to punish you.”

Loan players Valentino Lazaro, Nabil Bentaleb and Danny Rose all started against City.

“I’m not going to highlight just the loan players,” said Bruce. “We’re a team. The strength of this group has been the resilience. I’m not going to comment on the loan players – or any individual.”