Dan Walker shoots down Dion Dublin's Steve Bruce praise with comments Newcastle United fans will love
Football Focus presenter Dan Walker has jumped to the defence of Newcastle United supporters following claims from Dion Dublin that manager Steve Bruce has done an “absolutely fantastic job”.
The Magpies will be playing Premier League football again next season after an improved run of form in recent weeks helped them to secure their survival.
That purple patch helped Bruce to pick the top flight’s Manager of the Month award for April, and on Friday night, the 60-year-old saw his side put in a spirited display in a 4-3 defeat to newly-crowned champions Manchester City.
Reflecting on that match during Saturday's edition of Football Focus, former Premier League striker Dublin said: “I just want to take this opportunity to clap Steve Bruce. Absolutely fantastic job.
"Steve Bruce has done an absolutely brilliant job – with those injuries as well.”
Host Walker interrupted the pundit, however, pointing out that his comments may irritate some supporters who have grown frustrated with Bruce at times this season.
He said: “You’re going to get, and probably rightly, some very angry Newcastle fans. They don’t want to play football that way.
"They want to go out to win every week, every game.”
Dublin responded: “But would they look beautiful and go down?
"I think the situation Steve Bruce was in was to keep them up. They’ve stayed up. I think Steve Bruce has done the job that he was brought in to do.
"Pretty football? I don’t watch Newcastle every single week, but they’ve stayed up.”
Walker replied: “They might say that when they went to Sheffield United and played a super defensive game against a team who hadn’t won for months – games like that hurt them.”
“Of course they hurt them, because it’s not what they want to see”, Dublin conceded.
"The Newcastle we know, the way Newcastle should be playing football, the beautiful football – at the moment, you’re in the Premier League and that’s where you need to be.
"Steve Bruce has done his job.”
Newcastle have picked up 39 points from 36 games this term. To better last season’s tally of 44 points, they must win their final two matches against Sheffield United and Fulham.