During Steve Bruce’s press conference, he was asked about the plight of his big summer signing Joeliton who has managed just one goal in 22 appearances.
At Rochdale on Saturday, the 23-year-old exuded frustration as he just couldn’t get going against inferior opposition.
His theatrical displays of annoyance seemed to reach a boiling point for the Brazilian who another disappointing performance in a Newcastle shirt.
Steve Bruce was asked about what measures were being taken to help alleviate some of the pressure on Joelinton. This is what the head coach had to say:
“He gave us food for thought when he played into a wider area. That’s something we explored at Burnley, and I thought he did very well.
“When you come here with a big price tag – he’s a young lad, and the number nine shirt wears heavy. The great thing about Joe is he works every day.
“He’s never missed a training session since he’s been here. He wants to learn and wants to improve.
“When you’re up against it, like anything, the only thing you can do is roll your sleeves up, get on with it, keep working away at your game, and hope that it turns around.
“Almiron, a couple of weeks ago, we were saying the same thing. All of a sudden, he’s got two in two weeks. Let’s hope that continues and Joe finds his feet as well.”
A follow-up question was asked about Joelinton’s demeanor against Rochdale and whether there is a concern with the perception that he doesn’t look to be trying as hard as Miguel Almiron.
Bruce was having none of that and said the following in response:
“I don’t think that. People are different in their styles of play. I see him every day at work, and he works extremely hard.
“To play for me, you have to have one thing in that you roll your sleeves up and have a go.
“His physical stats stack up. So no matter how he looks. We’ve got the statistics to prove that’s otherwise.
“In training and on matchdays, his physical statistics are very good.
“He’s going through that classic scenario of the striker who can’t score a goal. All of that gets heaped upon him. It’s amazing what a goal does.
“His best performance was Tottenham away when he scored. That one he rolled wide against Rochdale, we need it to roll into the net, and hopefully, that will get him started.”
Joelinton is obviously struggling at the moment but Bruce expects commitment from his players. Even with limited options, Bruce wouldn’t have handed the striker 21 starts this season if he wasn’t getting effort from Joelinton.
At Rochdale, frustration got the better of him but Joelinton is still working hard and trying to improve. While it’s starting to sound like a broken record, hopefully, he can get another goal soon and that gets him going.
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