The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Bruce’s de­light as Joelin­ton ends drought in New­cas­tle’s im­pres­sive win over Blades

- Sports · Soccer · Newcastle United Football Club · Steve Bruce · Sheffield United F.C. · Sheffield · Ireland · Matt Ritchie · Chris Wilder · Joelinton · John Egan

New­cas­tle head coach Steve Bruce hopes Joelin­ton is fi­nally find­ing his feet in English foot­ball af­ter see­ing him score his sec­ond Premier League goal 301 days af­ter the first.

The 23-year-old Brazil­ian rounded off a 3-0 win over 10-man Sh­effield United at St James’ Park on Sun­day with a solid 78thminute fin­ish af­ter pass­ing up a glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­nity in the first half, the kind of miss which has earned the £40 mil­lion sum­mer sign­ing con­certed crit­i­cism.

Bruce said: “He’s a re­ally gen­uinely good lad and he gives his all for the team, so once you keep do­ing that and you’re a team player like he is, then you’re go­ing to get the re­spect of every­body.

“We’re all just de­lighted for him that he’s man­aged to score a goal and hope­fully, hope­fully, hope­fully – that’s now two or three he’s got over the last few weeks.

“He per­son­ally has suf­fered in the lock­down more than any­body. He’s had no fam­ily here, no friends, holed up in an apart­ment some­where, so it’s been re­ally, re­ally dif­fi­cult for the kid, so I’m de­lighted for him be­cause he’s a re­ally gen­uinely good pro and he can only get bet­ter.”

Joelin­ton was at the cen­tre of most of the game’s sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments, his first-half clash with de­fender John Egan earn­ing both men yel­low cards be­fore the Repub­lic of Ire­land was handed a sec­ond for haul­ing the front­man back five min­utes af­ter the break.

The Mag­pies cap­i­talised when Al­lan Saint-Max­imin fired them ahead af­ter Enda Stevens’ er­ror be­fore Matt Ritchie ex­tended their lead and Joelin­ton wrapped up the points with 12 min­utes re­main­ing at St James’ Park.

Bruce said: “My staff have just said it could only hap­pen to me, that we have a 3-0 win and there’s no­body here to see it.”

If Bruce was a happy man, op­po­site num­ber Chris Wilder was less so with his team’s over­all per­for­mance, but also the de­ci­sion by ref­eree David Coote which led to Egan’s first cau­tion.

Wilder said: “John has tried to take a quick free-kick, the boy has got hold of the ball – I’ve got no prob­lem with that, it’s part and par­cel of the game. The ref­eree pushes both play­ers away and gets on with it.

“We were both as­ton­ished, both my­self and Steve, that they got yel­low cards from it. Ob­vi­ously the sec­ond one was a def­i­nite yel­low card, but the first one it is just ridicu­lous.”

 ??  ?? Al­lan Saint-Max­imin cel­e­brates scor­ing the opener
Al­lan Saint-Max­imin cel­e­brates scor­ing the opener
 ??  ?? New­cas­tle United’s Matt Ritchie scores his side’s sec­ond goal of the game
New­cas­tle United’s Matt Ritchie scores his side’s sec­ond goal of the game

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