STEVE BRUCE is convinced Miguel Almiron will soon end his long wait for a Newcastle United goal after finding a way to hit the net and break a duck for his country this week.

Miguel Almiron, yet to score for the Magpies since making a then record £21m move from Atlanta United in January, had not found the net in 23 appearances for Paraguay until he headed an equaliser against Jordan after appearing as a substitute.

That was also his first goal at any level since appearing for Atlanta in a 3-1 win over New York City on November 11 last year, so the hope will be that he can build on that for the Magpies.

The 25-year-old hasn’t even been able to create a goal for Newcastle so he is due a break, even though Bruce has been hugely impressed by what the South American has to offer English football.

“The first time I seen him I thought, ‘wow, what a good player he is.’ He’s a good player, the kid,” said Bruce. “I think he needs … a bit like when Joelinton scored. I think he feels he’s had a few chances.

“Last week, he had two great opportunities but didn’t take them but what he contributes to the team you cannot but admire the way he plays. However, I think he is aware and everyone else is aware that he’s got to score a goal. He’s in an important position for us so I think it will come. I really do.

“He’s an international footballer and he’s been close and it hasn’t quite happened - even from his debut. There’s no doubt in January that I’m sure he gave everyone a lift with his enthusiasm and the way he is. He trains every day, popular lad. I’m sure if he gets one he will be off and running.”

Almiron likes to roam because of the energy he possesses, and he has tried unsuccessfully to play higher up the pitch with a striker already. Bruce understands the frustrations, but is confident he will be a huge asset.

“He became a free spirit at Atlanta as a No 10, an attacking midfielder,” he said. “That’s the thing you label him and he’s one of them where, ‘what is his best position?’ Because if you are off the striker then you have to be getting 10-12 goals a season.

“Is he a wide player? Is he a No 10? Is he a midfielder? I think that’s the one. I thought he was excellent against Spurs and the other day if he had scored. I think it’s just a matter of time. He’ll be OK. As a footballer, he’s a good player.”

It is hoped Almiron will soon have attacking competition from Andy Carroll. And, after watching Carroll return to the training pitch this week, Newcastle boss Bruce has recalled the day he first caught a glimpse of his potential when the striker burst on to the Premier League stage.

Carroll might not have scored that Boxing Day afternoon in 2008 but he was a constant menace to the Wigan defence in a 2-1 defeat to Bruce’s Latics. A couple of years later, and with goals in the Premier League and Championship behind him, and he was on his way to Liverpool in a £35m move.

“I remember when I was manager of Wigan and he came on and smashed us to bits and I thought, ‘Oh my God. What is that? That is a bit of a throwback if I ever saw one.’ It’s unfair to say he’s old fashioned because that means to say everyone was like him. They weren’t,” said Bruce.

“He was mobile, he had a very, very good left foot. He had a decent balance for someone his size. Usually, when you’re that big, you become a little bit unbalanced but Andy, physically, was a handful. How often have we seen it? Put it in the box and he was very, very good on getting on the end of it.”

Bruce revealed on Tuesday Carroll had spent the morning on the training pitch doing some work but he will not feature against Liverpool.