​Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce wants ​Andy Carroll to play a big part throughout the Magpies' congested fixture list over the festive period.

Carroll earned his first Premier League start of the season away at ​Sheffield United in midweek and assisted Jonjo Shelvey's goal as his side ran out 2-0 victors at Bramall Lane.

Jonjo Shelvey,Andy Carroll

The target man has impressed at both ends of the field with his dominant aerial prowess, defending set pieces and winning headers in the attacking third.

Speaking after his side's resolute victory midweek, Steve Bruce expressed his happiness at the return of Carroll to the team - his first start for the Magpies in 3,264 days. 

"I just thought on a night like this, against their three centre-backs and the physicality of Sheffield United he would cause them a problem," he said, as quoted by the ​Telegraph. "He does have a presence and it lifts people. He has a physicality and presence about him and, of course, he is a very good player when he is right.

"So he’ll be a big asset to us if he stays well, and that is the big whole thing for me, my staff, my medical staff - to keep him right because if he is right he’ll be a handful for anybody."

Andy Carroll

He could indeed prove to be very important for ​Newcastle over the coming weeks as they face seven games in the next 27 days, many of which are against sides that tend to rely on aerial dominance.

With fixtures against the likes of Southampton, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Everton all in the mix, this man may well be in the headlines once again.

Newcastle United currently occupy 11th place in the ​Premier League table, surpassing the expectations of many. Fans of the Magpies are even warming to Steve Bruce despite initial apprehension surrounding his appointment.