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Sean Longstaff explains the differences between having Eddie Howe as manager and…Steve Bruce

10 months ago
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Sean Longstaff is living the dream.

The 25 year old midfielder a key member of Eddie Howe’s squad and indeed first eleven.

Having made 22 Premier League starts in a row, Sean Longstaff was unable to make the starting eleven against Villa due to illness preventing him train in the week leading up to that match. It said everything though when Eddie Howe then immediately brought him back in for the Tottenham match, the only change he made.

The midfielder massively justifying that decision with yet another lung bursting performance, as along with his teammates, they ran Tottenham off their feet.

Sean Longstaff must still have nightmares though, as to what could have been.

Breaking into the first team under Rafa Benitez and playing really well before injury cut short his season, when the midfielder returned to action it was under…Steve Bruce.

Like moving from darkness into the light, Sean Longstaff explaining just how massive it was when Eddie Howe came along…

Sean Longstaff talking to The Athletic – 26 April 2023:

“It is weird, looking back, before the new manager [Eddie Howe] came to Newcastle.

“I wasn’t enjoying football, I wasn’t enjoying coming in every day and not really playing.

“In my opinion, I didn’t feel like I was getting massively coached into becoming the best version of me.

“It was perfect when I broke through.

“I came in and did well and everyone loves you.

“When Steve Bruce came in as manager, I’d come back from injury and didn’t really feel like I was ready but sort of felt like I had to play.

“And when you’re in that mindset and in that position, you’re never going to be able to play well and, over time, I just sort of …

“After Eddie Howe’s first training session, I thought, ‘That’s totally different’. I loved every second. I didn’t play much at the start but I always thought the way he wanted to play really suited me, and once I’d got in…”

Rafa Benitez made an approach and wanted to sign Sean Longstaff in the January 2022 window but Eddie Howe showered the midfielder with love.

Sean Longstaff:

“I needed it massively.

“In my opinion, it was something that had been lacking in the two years prior.

“It’s like anything: as much as you’re a professional and an adult, if someone shows you a bit of love and affection and tells you how great you are, it’s nice to hear. I hadn’t heard it for a long time.

“I spoke to the new manager more that month than I’d spoken to the old one in two years, which is probably not a good sign.

“He told me what his plans were, how he saw me in the team. He said, ‘We’ll get you a new contract sorted’ — the club had just let me run into the last year of my deal. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t really think I believe you’, but it came true.

“My mentality shifted from being ready to go to, ‘You’ve got six months to save your Newcastle career’. I remember going home and saying, ‘I want to stay’ and that’s when I had to show him I really wanted to be part of it.

“I’ll forever be grateful.

“But the second I met him and his staff, knowing straight away he would help me get better as a player and person, I was ready to run through brick walls for him.”

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