Mario Melchiot gives his view on Steve Bruce from his days playing for Newcastle United's head coach

Mario Melchiot has questioned Steve Bruce's tactical acumen after Newcastle United's head coach rounded on his critics.
Steve Bruce.Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

The former Newcastle striker's comments drew an angry response from Bruce ahead of this afternoon's game against Tottenham Hotspur.

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"That disappoints me," said Bruce. "Someone with a bit of credence, I can understand. We can all take criticism as long as its constructive. When it’s complete lies, that’s when its disappointing.”

Melchiot – who played for Bruce at Wigan Athletic more than a decade ago – gave his view on the 58-year-old on TV when asked about his "I'm not really into tactics" quote, which he has since insisted was said as a joke.

“That’s the same thing he used to tell us when I was playing with him," said Melchiot. “That was 12 years ago or something. He made that answer. Football has changed so much.

“Look at the people who are winning the league. You tell me that (Manchester City manager) Pep Guardiola has no tactics? You think that’s why he won the Premier League.

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“You look at Liverpool (and) how they won the Champions League. Without tactics? No. You need to understand the game.

“Look, he does a form of it in his own way, but I do believe that the way he wants to affect the team, at this point there are people, I guarantee you, in the side that don’t understand how he wants to play.”