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Bruce names 2 who struggled last night, admits Joelinton frustration and Saint-Maximin fears eased

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Steve Bruce believes both Sean Longstaff and Joelinton were way below their best in last night’s fortunate 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at St James’ Park.

As for Joelinton, Bruce admitted it was another ‘frustrating night’ for the Brazilian – who looked out of sorts and a little lost up top: “He has to dust himself down and get on with the challenge.



“He had a frustrating night, it is fair to say.



On the subject of Saint-Maximin, Bruce also shared an update on his knee – insisting that it doesn’t look like there’s any injury to worry about despite falling awkwardly late on and limping off: I was fearing the worst when watching the replay of his studs getting caught in the ground as he twisted his knee, but perhaps the fact he was able to continue shows it’s just a little knock for the Frenchman and he’ll be fine for Sunday.

Here’s what Bruce has had to say about both, starting with Longstaff – a player he believes has a ‘lot of work to do’ after a ‘disappointing’ performance: “Sean is in the last two years of his contract – we all know what capabilities he’s got he’s got to show it more often and more regularly.

“I’m sure he’ll be a bit disappointed with how he’s played, but we’ve got to make sure that we try to get him to maybe where he was.

“He’s got to dust himself down and get on with it.” It’s time we stopped trying to play him up top on his own – it’s not working – but he needs to work on the basics and start looking more lively if he wants to get in the side ahead of Fraser, Almiron or ASM.
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