Ex-Manchester United teammate uses 'hero' Rafa Benitez to defend Steve Bruce at Newcastle United

Former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister says the job Steve Bruce has done at Newcastle United isn’t too dissimilar to “hero” Rafa Benitez.

Bruce succeeded the Spaniard as Magpies head coach in 2019 – earning a 13th place finish in his first season in charge before going one position better last campaign.

However, the 60-year-old has failed to win over the Toon fanbase, with chants of “we want Brucie out” heard during the 2-2 draw with Southampton last month.

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Bruce won five of his remaining eight games last term but it was a mid-season run of two victories in 21 that had supporters calling for his head.

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Pallister, however, believes former teammate Bruce is doing the best job he can, a one that is comparable to Benitez.

Pallister, speaking to FreeSuperTips, said: “I don't think Steve has done that bad of a job compared to what Rafa Benitez did and he was hailed a hero.

“I think survival for Newcastle right now because of the position they're in is all they can hope for.

“There's no real investment and a lot of negativities around the ownership.

“A lot of things are up in the air in terms of new owners bidding for the club and it's just in a bit of turmoil right now.

“Steve's doing the best job he possibly can, he's kept them in the Premier League, and I think he will do the same this season if he's there all year.”

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Pallister also reckons Bruce takes the flack for supporters’ frustration with Mike Ashley and the club’s hierarchy.

He continued: “I feel for him because I know the type of guy he is, he's a very honest person and he has great values.

“He wants to do well for his hometown club, so it'll be hurting him when he gets booed of his own.

“He's got tough skin; he understands the expectations and he's trying his best to deal with it.

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“But he must be hurting him to take that kind of flack every week, but I hope the fans have more patience with him.

“I do think the fans take it out on Steve because of the frustrations elsewhere with the football club.”

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