Noel Whelan insisted Joelinton needs to “learn quickly what is expected at Newcastle United” after the striker got his first goal at St. James’ Park.
The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the 23-year-old benefited from playing without fans but alluded to the fact it will not be forever and he needs to be capable of dealing with expectation when fans return.
Joelinton scored his first goal at St. James’ Park on Sunday as Steve Bruce’s side turned Sheffield United over 3-0 on their Premier League return.
The Brazilian added the third after second half strikes from Allan Saint-Maximin and Matt Ritchie had given the hosts the lead on Tyneside.
When asked by Football Insider if the centre-forward benefited from playing behind closed doors, Whelan said: “That may have helped him.
“Joelinton has taken a lot of flack and you can hear that from the stands but you would like to think that these players have a bigger character and that they are a bit tougher than that.
“You are going to get praise and you are going to get criticism when you do not perform. That is your profession. It is watched by the whole world.
“There is nowhere to hide so you need to grow up quickly and get a tough skin and a strong mentality to allow you to go out there any perform. I hope he learns quickly what the expectations are at Newcastle.
“It is a role that is very important and he will always have the spotlight on him.”
Joelinton’s debut campaign in England has yielded four goals and four assists so far.
The striker has faced much criticism since his club-record transfer from Hoffenheim.
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