By Gabriel Agbonlahor

25th Mar, 2021 | 7:00am

Agbonlahor slams Newcastle pair amid behind-the-scenes 'shock'

Gabby Agbonlahor has called on Steve Bruce to drop Joelinton and Ryan Fraser from the Newcastle United starting XI.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England striker insisted his former Aston Villa manager needs to pick players willing to “fight” for the club.

Fraser and Joelinton played the full 90 minutes last weekend as Newcastle fell to a crushing 3-0 defeat to their relegation rivals Brighton.

The loss leaves them hovering above the relegation zone by just two points but they do have a game in hand over Fulham.

Football Insider revealed the Newcastle squad discussed demanding face-to-face talks with Lee Charnley after being left in “shock” at the club backing Steve Bruce on Sunday.

Defender Ciaran Clark told the press while on international duty the players “weren’t up for it” at the Amex.

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And Agbonlahor has insisted that shows Steve Bruce is not entirely to blame for the Magpies’ woes.

He told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “It’s what I’ve always said, everyone’s slating Steve Bruce but I back Steve Bruce.

“He put out a team to go out and perform but there’s only so much a manager can do. The players need to hold their hands up and make it right.

“You look at Joelinton, he hasn’t turned up all season for Newcastle. He’s still not turning up.

“For me, Steve Bruce has now got to work out what 11 players are going to fight for him and fight for the club and pick them. If that’s Dwight Gayle, if that’s Andy Carroll, if that’s Matt Ritchie, if that’s the Longstaff brothers in midfield. 

“Whoever is going to fight for him and the club – that’s what it’s about now.

“Certain players are letting him down, the likes of Ryan Fraser, the likes of Joelinton, they’re not doing anything, they’re not showing any hunger, they’re not showing any fight.

“I’m sure Steve Bruce will be making changes for the games coming up.”

In other news, there has been a big update on Callum Wilson’s injury ahead of Newcastle United v Tottenham.