Bruce confident Joelinton-Almiron strike partnership can flourish
Both men are awaiting their first goal for the Magpies.
Steve Bruce is confident £61million strikeforce Joelinton and Miguel Almiron can form a partnership which can prosper in the Premier League.
Neither Brazilian Joelinton, who has played just two games since his £40million summer move to Tyneside, nor Paraguay international Almiron have yet found the back of the net for the club in a competitive game as they head for Tottenham on Sunday.
Their on-field relationship remains in its infancy, and Bruce and his staff have been working behind the scenes in the last week in a bid to establish a better understanding between them.
He said: “Look, it’s new, it’s new for Joe, it’s new for four or five of the players. Some of them haven’t made their debut yet, some of them have only been here for two weeks.
“Given time, we hope that they can forge some sort of relationship, and I’m quietly confident – we have seen enough in pre-season.
“For large parts of the game against Arsenal, we did okay and Joe was a threat, had a couple of chances, one might have gone in.
“For Almiron, the thing we are working on, of course, is can we get him higher up the pitch. He’s a very, very good player, but he tends to drift into midfield naturally, that’s what he wants to do.
“We’ve tried to work on can we get him higher up the pitch in a goalscoring position?”
Chances to do just that may be at a premium this weekend as the Magpies attempt to shackle Champions League finalists Tottenham on their own pitch still looking for their first point of the campaign after defeats by Arsenal and Norwich.
Asked about Spurs, Bruce said: “Look, they’re a very, very, very good side, as good as you get, one of the best teams in Europe, so we’re under no illusion how difficult it is going to be.
“But hopefully, it’s just the right type of game for us after last week. Not many people give us a chance going there, so let’s go and enjoy the occasion.
“We’ll have to play well to get anything at all. Tottenham are a very, very good side.”
Bruce hopes to have winger Allan Saint-Maximin at his disposal after the Frenchman missed the 3-1 defeat at Norwich with a hamstring injury, while Joelinton has shaken off the hip injury which prompted his early exit at Carrow Road.