Steve Bruce Explains Miguel Almiron's Starting XI Omission in Newcastle's Loss to Brighton

21 September 2020 03:45

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has revealed Miguel Almiron was omitted from his starting XI against Brighton as he was pleased with Andy Carroll's performance in their Premier League opener at West Ham.

The former Liverpool forward was impressive during the Magpies' 2-0 win at the London Stadium and was rewarded with another start against Graham Potter's side.

However, Newcastle quickly found themselves two goals down to Brighton through Neal Maupay's brace inside seven minutes of kick-off, before Aaron Connolly finished the game off with an 83rd minute strike.

Bruce was asked about Almiron's absence after the game but instead lamented his side's poor start.

He said, as quoted by the Sunderland Echo: "Look, hindsight’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Look, it doesn’t matter what you do if you give yourself a start like that. We didn’t get started.

"I understand your point [about Almiron] but if you’re 2-0 down after seven minutes, then it becomes difficult against a team who obviously base their style on possession and who made it very, very difficult for us.

"I think it would have been unfair on Andy with the performance he put in last week.”

Almiron started Newcastle's Carabao Cup fixture with Blackburn last week, putting in an impressive performance and setting up Jeff Hendrick's goal in the 1-0 win. He also set up the Republic of Ireland international during his five minute cameo in the victory at West Ham.

Bruce has favoured the 4-4-2 formation in Newcastle's opening two games, with Allan Saint-Maximin and Hendrick stuck out wide. However, Saint-Maximin picked up an injury on Sunday, while left back Jamal Lewis was also kicked in the face by Yves Bissouma, who saw red for the 'challenge'.

Bruce said, via the Chronicle: “Jamal’s got a nasty eye injury. We’ll see how bad it is. We’re not too concerned about the cut, but he might have an abrasion in his eye, so we’ll see how he is.

"Allan’s got an ankle [injury]. Again, we’ll have to wait and see what happens with that.”

Source: 90min