Specifically, the Toon manager explained why the Longstaff brothers have not played a significant role for his side of late.
As per Downie, Bruce explained that when his players are playing well, “the team picks itself” and this, along with competition for places, is why the Longstaff brothers have struggled for playing time of late.
“With the Longstaffs – it’s the same as any other midfielder – we need competition. We’ve had too many disappointing performances as a team which has led to different changes. It’s simple to me – you play well and the team picks itself like it did on Tuesday.
“They need to roll their sleeves up and get prepared for competition for places, which is always healthy.”
The manager’s claim led some Toon fans to question why, if this is what Bruce thinks, has Jeff Hendrick been playing so consistently of late, indicating that they don’t think his performances have been up to scratch.
So, what have these Newcastle United fans been saying about Hendrick?
Plenty of Newcastle fans blasted £8.1m-rated midfielder’s quality, with some indicating that they think the Longstaff brothers deserve a chance more than the Republic of Ireland international, as you can see below.
“The team pick itself so how the hell does Hendrick make it every week, he shocking bad”
“So why the hell has Hendrick still been getting in the team and young Matty on the bench? Clues Bruce like.”
“Aye Steve sure, that explains why Hendrick plays every week eh.”
“If a team picks itself then why are shelvey and Hendrick playing?”
“Then how does Hendrick end up playing every week”
“My thoughts exactly.
Hendrick offers nothing. We can just as well give Sean or Matty a go.”
Is Hendrick Newcastle's best midfielder?
“There is no competition I’m afraid Steve. Shelvey and Hendrick are shocking.”
“Longstaffs scapegoated when Shelvey and hendrick have been abysmal this season”
“For this to come from a Premier League manager is embarrassing. The team should NEVER pick itself unless you’re literally down to the bare-bones with injuries.”
Judging by these Toon fans’ tweets, it’s clear that Hendrick, who earns a whopping £50k-per-week, has failed to win over many fans of the North East club since making his move to St. James’ Park last summer.