'By god...' - Exclusive: Bruce shares Saint-Maximin insight amid Newcastle controversy

Alex Bruce has hailed Allan Saint-Maximin as an astonishing talent who can change matches for Newcastle United in an instant.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the just-retired former Premier League defender revealed why “by God” he has been so excited at watching the forward in action for his father’s team.

The Mail claimed earlier this week that Steve Bruce had had a training ground fall-out with Saint Maximin.

This led to an emphatic post-match retort by the manager and his son is in no doubt about the talents of the player amid the controversial and fiercely-denied claims.

“He’s got that little bit of magic where you don’t know what’s going to to come out of him next,” Bruce told Football Insider.

“He’s a bottle of pop in terms of his all full of tricks, all full of life. We’ve seen in the
cup tie recently where he can have that little bit of brilliance, jink in and out and bang one in the top corner from 20 yards.

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“He’s someone who can change a game in an instant.”

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the manager dropped Saint-Maximin to the bench on Saturday purely as a tactical decision to nullify Burnley’s well-drilled system.

The crowd-pleasing attacker returned to the Newcastle XI for last night’s FA Cup win at West Brom and played 80 minutes before making way for Dwight Gayle.

A visibly fuming Bruce subsequently hit out at the journalist who wrote the Mail story and insisted he had not had a “bust-up” with Saint-Maximin.

Bruce explained what is the next stage of the French attacker’s development at St James’ Park.

“Consistency level,” he said to Football Insider. “I think my dad would like to see him a little bit more on the pitch.

“He’s had a couple of injuries so the reliability of putting your hat on him to do the other side, do the ugly side as well, is something that he’ll want to improve on.

“But by god, when he’s got the ball he’s got fantastic ability and he possesses that bit of magic everyone wants.”

In other Newcastle United news, Paul Robinson has revealed the Magpies player he’s desperately wanted Leeds United to sign.