The 26-year-old defender made his comeback as an 83rd-minute substitute on Friday night as Newcastle rescued a point in their Premier League fixture with Aston Villa.
Manquillo had been absent since the start of February after picking up an ankle injury in the 3-2 victory over Southampton, which is the last time the Magpies secured all three points in a top-flight encounter.
After the 1-1 draw with Villa, Bruce said (via the Chronicle): “Manquillo was just making sure that he’s right and he’s right for the run-in. He’s now trained, he was ahead of schedule, and we’ve erred on caution with him because of the injury that he’s got. Thankfully he’s back and will come into contention next week.”
Bruce’s men need all the help they can get in their fight against relegation after a run of just two wins in their last 17 Premier League outings has seen them drop to 16th in the table. However, the Magpies supporters aren’t convinced that former Atletico Madrid full-back is the answer to their problems.
“Is he going to score or put in an assist highly unlikely, sub your right-backs when you need to win the game v strange call when you have a striker on the bench?”
“If this is the saviour, we are definitely doomed…”
“Probably at CF knowing Bruce”
“is he going to be playing upfront now like”
“Well tell him to get close to his winger to be able to stop the cross!!!”
“Probably somewhere near the right back position as a “false” 9”
Newcastle’s next game is a relegation six-pointer with Brighton, and if Manquillo can contribute to a much-needed victory, then we’re sure some of these perceptions will change.