NEWCASTLE UNITED could field two homegrown brothers in a competitive game in the Carabao Cup tonight, with head coach Steve Bruce suggesting they already have a similar mentality to the Nevilles when they emerged at Manchester United.

Bruce was at Old Trafford between 1992-96 when Gary and Phil Neville made the step up to Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad and they went on to have hugely successful careers.

Now Newcastle are looking at Sean and Matty Longstaff with hugely exciting eyes, with the two Geordie-born midfielders having already made a huge impression on the club’s latest boss.

Matty is in line to make his first appearance in a Newcastle shirt against Leicester City when the 19-year-old could even line up with his elder brother.

Sean, 21, has already made his mark since Christmas having forced his way into Rafa Benitez’s team last season and stayed there, despite having to overcome a serious injury too, and Manchester United wanted to sign him for £30m in the summer.

Bruce is excited by the pair and believes they could have a long and successful career, hopefully under him at Newcastle, and he has drawn comparisons with what he saw from the Nevilles when they first graduated to the first team stage in the 90s.

“I’m sure there must have been a competition between them all their life the way they are. They are both hugely competitive and it’s quite unique we’ve got brothers and the pair of them could be playing. Fantastic,” said Bruce.

“Matty’s bright, he’s tenacious, can score a goal - he’s got all the stuff you need to succeed. Got a huge desire to do well like his brother. His brother’s running statistics on Saturday were enormous - absolutely enormous. I’ll just remind of him of that, what he’s got to live up to!

“At Manchester United, Phil was the one that we always thought was going to – and no disrespect to Phil, but he didn’t quite have the career that Gary had, but coming through, Phil was going to be ... well, the big story was he was going to be a cricketer, he was the next Andy Flintoff, a good cricketer.

“We all thought Phil was going to be the one, but Gary, to be fair to him, the way he is, his personality, he made the right-back position his for years.

“I’m sure there’s a similarity between the two sets of brothers because of the huge competitive nature that the two of them have got. They’ve both got it in abundance and I suppose being brothers, the younger one wants to do the older one. It’s pretty normal, isn’t it?”

Bruce had not taken much interest in Matty until he was surprisingly appointed as Benitez’s successor in the summer. He was hugely impressed by him during the Asia Trophy, and then he scored in the friendly with St Etienne at St James’ Park.

“I didn't know anything about him until four weeks ago, to be honest,” said Bruce. “I saw this bright red face running around China - I thought it was going to burst! I thought, 'is he alright?' He's the way I went when you're red like that in the heat!

“The two of them absolutely have to have factor 50 on. He's got bounds of enthusiasm. We've seen a little bit of him - scored that great goal against St Etienne when he came on. He's impressed me enormously over the last four, five weeks. He's been training with us all the time so I think it could be a good time to give him his debut.”

The challenge facing Matty is to help Newcastle defeat Leicester City in the only all-Premier League tie of the Carabao Cup’s second round tonight. Bruce would love to hit Wembley with his boyhood club, 44 years after he did in 1976 when the Magpies lost 2-1 to Manchester City.

“I was just about on the halfway line sitting on a little stool as a ball-boy,” he said. “It was heart-breaking. I was picked out. There were six of us from Newcastle Boys and six from Manchester Boys who went down. There's a picture of it somewhere. It was a long trip home. It was a great goal, though, from Deni Tueart wasn't it? Alan Gowling's goal was great as well.”

Bruce is all too aware that it was seven years earlier when Newcastle last won a trophy, but he knows he will have to change his team from Sunday after the euphoric win at Tottenham arrived at a cost.

“Obviously the situation we find ourselves in with Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle, in particular, and now Allan Saint-Maximin, it's a big risk to risk Joelinton (groin) for a start and also I need to see Yoshinori Muto go and play,” said Bruce.

“I don't think Muto has had the game time which he probably has had not enough of when I'm looking at the statistics of what I've seen in front of me on my desk and also the thing (ankle knock) with Miguel Almiron as well.

“They're my biggest concerns because I haven't really got much at the top end of the pitch at the minute because of the absence of Saint-Maximin, Dwight and Andy Carroll.

“Everywhere else, we've got enough. We've got enough experienced players. Let's be fair, we've got three or four who didn’t even make the squad. We've got enough to take it serious against a good Leicester side.”

Jack Colback, Achraf Lazaar – who is interesting teams in Italy - and Rolando Aarons will not be involved tonight, but Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez are set to be involved because of concerns over Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar. Christian Atsu will also be rested after playing more than expected at Spurs.

Bruce said: “I'll make at least four or five I would think with what we've got at the minute. I've got to see how Jamaal is. Schar has got a nasty cut on his ankle, too. Jamaal came off. I can't see Atsu being able to go again.

“What Atsu did was heroic because I never expected him to be on the pitch for the best part of 80 minutes. He's been a concern so I would think there is going to be four or five but, then again, I've got some experienced players who did not even make the squad.

“Ki didn't make the squad, for example, and at this particular moment, I'm seriously thinking about giving young Longstaff his debut. He's impressed me greatly.

“It was the manner in which they went about their jobs which was pleasing for everybody, the number of blocks, the tackles – it was like a war zone in the end, wasn't it? I didn't know which one to take off, there were that many of them who had physically pushed themselves to the limit, which was pretty evident to see."