'It's no fluke I'm still here': Steve Bruce addresses criticism at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce says it’s “no fluke” that he's still in his job at Newcastle United.

Saturday, 23rd January 2021, 10:00 am

Bruce is under pressure at the relegation-threatened club after a nine-game run without a win.

Fans have called for a managerial change in recent weeks, but Bruce still has the backing of owner Mike Ashley ahead of this afternoon’s Premier League game against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Bruce’s appointment as Rafa Benitez’s successor at St James’s Park in the summer of 2019 was met with a lukewarm reception on Tyneside.

And Bruce’s tactics and team selection have been criticised throughout his time at Newcastle, his boyhood club.

Asked if he thought he would ever win over United fans, Bruce said: “I understand, because we’re in a bad run, so you have to accept the criticism, but the one thing I assure you we’re working as hard as we can to make sure we achieve it (Premier League safety).

"I have got a belief in my ability to take us through this. When you manage nearly 500 games in the Premier League, it’s no fluke I’m still here.

"I’ve got the equipment to handle what comes my way, and make sure that we finish in the Premier League where we finished last year.”

Steve Bruce.

Bruce – who started his managerial career more than two decades ago – has managed 448 Premier League games, 126 of which ended in wins for his teams.

"Look, I’ve managed 460 games in the Premier League, which is something like 11 years,” said Bruce. “My experience has helped me, certainly.

"But look, the Premier League’s a difficult league, and whether you’re me, the guy from Wolves (Nuno Espirito Santo) who is on a bad run, or whether you’re Frank Lampard, it is a demanding league. If you’re on a tough run then you have to put up with what you have to put up with.

“The one thing about you is you must keep that respect and a little bit of dignity, and make sure you try and do as best you can and get yourself through it, and try and get a result along the way, that helps.”

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