Newcastle United defender Federico Fernandez has backed Joelinton to perform at St. James’ Park, in a call for Steve Bruce’s men to stay strong.
We have taken back-to-back wins in recent weeks with favourable results on the road to Sheffield United and at home to Southampton, to move up to the middle of the Premier League standings on 22 points.
Our deficit to fifth-placed Manchester United is also just two points, while the relegation places are a distant echo at present with the Saints failing to take a point from the North East leaving Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men 18th and seven points down on us.
Bruce has not been able to rely on our £40million summer signing Joelinton in any of our recent games, though, with the Brazilian brought to Tyneside to be a star of our attack now without a goal in his last 13 top-flight appearances.
The 23-year-old failed to register a shot on target against Southampton at the weekend, either, as his sole effort on Alex McCarthy’s net was blocked in the 47th-minute.
Joelinton would last just 12 more minutes on Sunday before Bruce hauled him off for Andy Carroll, who went on to assist Jonjo Shelvey’s equalising strike, but Fernandez is trying to help his underperforming teammate break his drought.
“Tough moments will always arrive for every player during the season,” Fernandez told the Chronicle. “You need to be strong.
“We need to [all] stick to the basics. At this moment, we can’t get too high or low – football changes every week, and we are tough for any side to play.
“Everybody is supporting the team.”
Who should Bruce start vs Burnley?
Our trip to Burnley on Saturday should present Joelinton with one of his better opportunities in recent weeks to end his goal drought away from St. James’ Park, as Sean Dyche’s Clarets are giving up an average of 11.9 shots per Premier League game when at Turf Moor this season.
Our last few top-flight away days have seen Bruce’s men face Sheffield United, who are allowing opposing sides 9.4 shots per game when at home – the 17th-most – Aston Villa (15.6 = 3rd), West Ham United (10.6 = 11th) and Chelsea (7 = 20th).
In other Newcastle United news, a manager has addressed the recent speculation linking his 6-goal striker with a move to St. James’ Park.
This article was originally posted here