By Football Insider speaking to Kevin Campbell

19th Feb, 2020 | 6:44pm

'Dad will be delighted' - Exclusive: Alex Bruce reacts to Newcastle player report

Alex Bruce has claimed his dad will be “delighted” if the reports that Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie have agreed new terms at Newcastle United are true. 

The son of Magpies’ manager Steve Bruce, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, highlighted the “big influence” 30-year-old Ritchie has on the dressing room at St. James Park.

According to Shields Gazette, the Magpies have tied down the midfielders to new contracts at the club with their current contracts due to expire at the end of next season.

Both players have struggled with injuries this season, Shelvey making a total of 15 appearances whilst Ritchie has been restricted to a mere six.

When asked for his thoughts on the prospect of the experienced midfielders committing their futures to the club, Bruce told Football Insider: “Two good players.

“We know what Shelvey brings to the team – good on the ball and creates a lot for Newcastle.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Ritchie is a great lad by all accounts and is a big influence in the dressing room and I know for a fact my dad thinks a lot of him. He is an honest type that you would want in your squad.

“Now he is over his injury he will be a good player to have and if he has agreed a new deal I am sure my dad will be delighted. It would be good for the club to get them tied down.” 

Steve Bruce appears to be eager to reward key players with improved longer contracts with goalie Martin Dubravka signing a six-year-deal in November.

Up next for the Toon are the out-of-form Crystal Palace on Saturday in what is shaping up to be a crucial encounter.

In other Newcastle news, Darren Bent has told Football Insider of the “impossible task” that faces one midfielder.