Newcastle United v Manchester United: Pictures
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Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff has blasted Joelinton’s critics and launched a passionate defence of his team-mate. Joelinton struggled to make an immediate impact after joining for £40million in 2019.
But the Brazilian has changed position from striker to midfield after Eddie Howe took charge of the club earlier this year.
Joelinton put in a man-of-the-match performance as the Magpies held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park on Monday night.
Sky Sports’ interviewer told Joelinton “I didn’t realise you was that good” during their post-match duties.
And Longstaff leapt to the defence of his team-mate.
“To be honest if you ask anyone in the dressing room we know he is that good regardless of what the outside people say,” he said.
“The disrespect he gets is a disgrace. Every day in training he’s the best player and if you get him on your team in training you’re buzzing because you’ll always win.
“He’s shown since the manager came in what he’s been like in training. Everyone at the club rates him so highly.
“The noise form outside is so disrespectful and if you watch him enough you see how good he is. I’m so happy for him and proud of him.”
On dropping deep, Joelinton explained: “It’s a new position for me. I try to give everything for the team. Unlucky with the result but we can be proud of the game and we just keep playing. It was a hard game but we take the positives.
“I understand what the manager is asking from me on the pitch.
“Some days things don’t happen but today I tried to work and I hope to continue this and do good work and hope we can win the game and improve this situation.”
Newcastle boss Howe also detailed how he came up with his Joelinton masterplan.
“When we initially came in we thought Joelinton would play as a number 10, a second striker,” he explained.
“We went down to 10 men against Norwich and reshuffled and played him as an eight and he was brilliant defensively.
“He has a tactical understanding. From then on I thought he had technical capabilities.
“You’ve seen tonight he’s been brilliant defensively. His work-rate and the amount of ground he covers is incredible. He’s a real team player. Such ability as well. He can only get better.”
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