Published Thu 10 Aug 2023, 16:26

Longstaff calls Miley "unbelievable" and fears he'll take his place in Howe's XI

Longstaff calls Miley "unbelievable" and fears he'll take his place in Howe's XI

Newcastle's "running man" Sean Longstaff has heaped praise on young Lewis Miley in a superb interview with Craig Hope of The Mail that was released today.

The infectiously upbeat Longstaff has been struck by Miley's quality since the starlet joined in training with the senior squad last season, with his most eye-catching quote about his fellow central midfielder being, "It was unbelievable how good he was."

The number 36 was referring to the younger Miley brother's performance during the club's mid-season camp in Saudi Arabia last December, which apparently left him and his teammates stunned.

Longstaff thinks Lewis is "one of the best" talents to have ever emerged from the academy and says he's just as worried about his fellow Geordie taking his place in Eddie Howe's starting XI as he is about Sandro Tonali doing the same.

In a wide-ranging piece, the North Shields-born midfielder also discussed the upcoming Amazon Prime documentary "We are Newcastle United", a recent holiday in Las Vegas with Nick Pope, Paul Dummett, Mark Gillespie, Matt Targett, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schär, and Loris Karius, and much more.

Here's everything Longstaff had to say to Hope in the article:

“We were speaking about that clip (of Howe swearing in the build-up to the 2-0 win over Manchester United last season), and I think they found the only time the manager swore all season!

We were all laughing about that. But we are lucky now that we have one of the best managers in the world, and I will always be grateful to him for what he has done for me and the rest of the lads.

You can see in the clips how he wants us to play. Before Man United, it’s not as if we needed any more motivation, but he always seems to tick the right boxes and presses the right buttons to get the very best out of us.

The more successful you are, the more people want to tear you down. Inside the club and the team, we’re as tight as you can be. We don’t let anything in.

Nights like this (the documentary premiere at the Tyneside Cinema) and tours of America are a far cry from where we were a few years ago, spending our pre-seasons in York. As we’re more successful on the pitch, that will help everything else grow. We’re trying to expand the club and get it recognised globally, as it should be.

A lot of us went on holiday together in the summer, so we’re with each other a lot. When we got back and had a couple of weeks apart, everyone hated it - we couldn’t wait to get back training!

We went to Las Vegas - me, Nick Pope, Paul Dummett, Mark Gillespie, Matt Targett, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Loris Karius… it's just as well the film crew didn’t follow us there!

But the makers (of the documentary) were really good. We didn’t notice them as much as we thought we would. The crew felt like part of the team come the end - they were in giving us handshakes after we’d won, it was a bit weird! I’m just hoping we all come across OK!

But I’m just a little fish, so they weren’t really following me around. I’ll leave that to Popey (Nick Pope) and Tripps (Kieran Trippier). I just got to glide by. At one point I was thinking, 'Am I ever going to get on this thing?'

I’m just as worried about Lewis (as Tonali taking his place in the side this season)! Honestly, he is just unbelievable. He came with us to Saudi (in December) and I remember thinking he was 16 at the time, and it was unbelievable how good he was.

I texted him in the summer saying just make sure you come back fit and ready to go. He said, 'I will do', and I could wax lyrical about him all day. I just think Lew is one of the best I have seen from the academy in a long time. It is just a pity he’s in my position!

Last year, getting to the cup final and qualifying for the Champions League, gave us that foundation. There have been some top, top players who have been at this club, who were never able to win a trophy. So, if we can do it, we will be in the history books forever. That is the motivation."

In a squad full of characters, Longstaff is right up there as one of the ones we'd never tire of hearing from.

He's incredibly generous with his comments here, about a player competing for his place in the team no less, just as he was with Joelinton two seasons ago following the 1-1 draw with Manchester United:

It's great to see him happy and enjoying his football again after some rough times under Steve Bruce.

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