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10/09/2019 - 11:29 BST

We Thought Wow, He’s A Bit Different – Steve Bruce On Newcastle United Winger

 




Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has been delighted with what he has seen from winger Christian Atsu, revealing that the performance of the Ghana international has surprised him and his coaching staff.

Atsu was handed regular game time in Rafael Benitez's side, featuring in 28 of the 38 league games the Magpies played last season.  


 



However, the 27-year-old did not get the chance to impress his new manager Bruce at St James' Park as he picked up an injury while playing for his country in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Bruce revealed that he did not have the chance to see Atsu until he recovered from the injury and took part in training.
 

Embed from Getty Images


The Newcastle boss insists that he at once saw that Atsu had the potential to offer the team something different, and the things the winger managed in training sessions were converted onto the pitch when Newcastle met Tottenham and the former Chelsea man was asked to replace Allan Saint-Maximin.



"Well, I was delighted with him", Bruce told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"I hadn't seen him train until [before the match against Tottenham]. All of a sudden, in training we're thinking 'wow, wow – he's a bit different, he's a bit different to what we've got' and he pleasantly surprised us.
 


"Then, of course, he took his training sessions into the game [at Spurs] and when we were all disappointed with Allan coming off, I thought he was terrific in his attitude to stay on the ball, to work with it and did very very well."

Atsu is just one appearance shy of reaching the 100 mark for Newcastle and has another two years left to run on his contract at St James' Park.