Sean Longstaff Responds to Critique Over His Recent Newcastle United Performances

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff has admitted he still has a ‘long way to go’ to become the complete player following fan criticism of his recent(ish) performances.

It comes after the local lad from Tyneside has struggled to find the form and consistency that made him an instant fans’ favourite last season. His younger brother, Matty, has moved up to the first team to join him this season, with both playing often alongside one another in the Premier League.

Matty scored in both the home and away league fixtures with ​Manchester United this term, but Sean has been less impressive form-wise in recent months.

Interviewed for ​Newcastle’s matchday programme against ​Burnley in late February (​via the Chronicle), Sean Longstaff said he tries to accept criticism from fans and pundits, but admitted it can sometimes be difficult.

“At times, it's probably been a bit surprising. It's something you have to take in your stride and enjoy.

“I hold myself to those high standards, so I've got no problem with everyone else doing that as well. I've still got people around me helping me, trying to get me to where I want to be. I'm still enjoying it, and it's just about staying at an even keel and I know that, ultimately, I'll get to where I want to be.”

After impressing last season, he has struggled to return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury, which kept him out between March and July last year.

“You come back [from injury] and people are setting expectations that are probably unrealistic. That's just the way I feel, to be honest.

“I feel like coming back, people expected me to be able to do everything, and I'm not the complete player yet – I'm still young and learning, and playing in the ​best league in the world is going to be tough at times.”

“I got in last year and when I had played before I got injured I'd done pretty well, and then everyone was ranting and raving about me.

“Then obviously everyone expects you to come back and hit the ground running, and sort of pick up from where you left off.

“That probably wasn't the case straight away.

“But I place that expectation on myself to be able to go out and play and perform at my best every week.”

Longstaff knows the skills he possesses and, more importantly, the player he wants to become.

“I'm still 22, there's still going to be ups and downs and I'm still striving for that consistency.

“The Sean Longstaff you're looking at now isn't the finished article. I'm still miles away from that. That's probably what excites me the most, to know that there's still a long way to go and hopefully I'm going to get better.”

Source : 90min