Newcastle boss Steve Bruce insists that Miguel Almiron is still a big part of his plans despite leaving the striker on the bench in the Magpies’ Premier League opener.
Bruce opted to go with Andy Carroll and new summer signing Callum Wilson for Newcastle’s game at West Ham last week. And it paid off. Carroll caused problems and Wilson poked in a debut goal to secure a 2-0 win.
But Almiron did contribute too. He came off the bench and set up Jeff Hendrick for the visitors’ killer second.
The 26-year-old from Paraguay also turned provider in midweek. On that occasion, he did make the starting XI and set up Ryan Fraser’s 35th minute matchwinner against Blackburn in the EFL Trophy.
Amiron was Newcastle’s top scorer with eight goals last season and Bruce realises his value.
“I had to make the difficult decision of not playing Almiron last week at West Ham, and he played in midweek,” said the St James’ Park boss.
“Everybody knows what I think of the boy, so it was a difficult decision, but thankfully it came off.
“It gives me food for thought, of course, and the more quality players you’ve got, then of course it makes the job a little bit easier.”
Bruce looking for improved display against Brighton
Bruce hopes his strikers can step it against Brighton this weekend.
The two sides played out two drab 0-0 draws in the Premier League last season.
“They were total classics, if I remember,” he said with tongue in cheek.
“We don’t have much to beat, both clubs, to have a better spectacle than we had last year.
“They’ve got a totally different philosophy over the last year or so with Graham. He’s come in and changed their style, if you like, and changed the way they play.
“They’re all about possession and retaining the ball, and they do it very, very well.
“I was mightily impressed with them against Chelsea. They didn’t get the result that maybe they warranted, but overall, they did very, very well.
“We know what to expect, we know for large parts of the game they’ll have good possession of the ball because that’s what they work at all week, I would presume.”
Newcastle will again be without Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar, Matty Longstaff and Dwight Gayle.
Ciaran Clark and Fraser came through the Blackburn win with no ill effects.