Steve Bruce didn’t use Yoshinori Muto when there was an opportunity late in the game when the Magpies were trailing by a single goal.
When asked about the reason, Bruce said it was purely based on tactical grounds. He added that the 27-year-old is very much a part of his plans for this season.
The Japan international joined the Magpies in 2018, signed by Rafael Benitez. He managed 17 Premier League games last season with most of them coming from the bench.
However, the 27-year-old could play a big role for the Magpies this season, after impressing Bruce during the pre-season.
“We had three strikers on the pitch, it was all about trying to find a balance,” said Bruce to the Chronicle.
“Muto has done very well since I’ve come into the club. I haven’t used him today but he’s very much part of my thoughts.”
It is clearly evident that Bruce has plans for him, and that he will be getting games this season. It is up to him now to make a strong impact for the club.
Having said that, it won’t be easy for him to get into the side on a regular basis with Joelinton and Miguel Almiron ahead of him in the pecking order.