Danny Mills has applauded Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce for making the “bold” call to axe Matty Longstaff and replace him with Jonjo Shelvey versus West Ham.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and England defender said it would have been easy to leave the teenage midfielder in the side after three successive starts but that he made the right call dropping him to the bench.
Shelvey, who was making his fifth start of the season, scored the Magpies’ third direct from a free-kick on the way to a 3-2 victory in east London, his second goal of the campaign.
Mills says that Bruce needs to make sure he manages the pressure that Longstaff comes under this season and that he made the right call taking him out the side on Saturday.
Mills told Football Insider: “There’s been a lot of talk about the Longstaff brothers and how good they are going to be but sometimes you have to dip in and out, the young players, especially when there’s an awful lot of pressure on them.
“That may be the reason for that but it worked. Jonjo Shelvey scores so you have to say, Steve Bruce got that one right and all credit to him for making that bold decision.
“It probably would have been easier to leave Longstaff in.”
Longstaff stepped into the starting XI for his Premier League debut against Manchester United and marked the occasion by netting the winner in a 1-0 victory at St James’ Park.
He went on to start in the defeat to Chelsea and the draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers, before being left unused for the Magpies’ trip to east London.
In other Newcastle United news, Mills has made a transfer claim after behind-the-scenes talks were confirmed on Tyneside this week.