Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard responds to Newcastle United speculation – and makes Steve Bruce admission
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has played down speculation linking him with Newcastle United and spoke of the “utmost respect” he has for Steve Bruce.
The Liverpool legend is one of the bookmakers' favourites to replace Bruce on Tyneside following the Saudi Arabian-backed takeover.
Bruce was expected to be sacked by the club’s new owners this week but instead is set to take charge of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur – his 1000th game as a manager.
Gerrard revealed his admiration for Bruce as he refused to be drawn on the rumours that he is being eyed as the next Newcastle boss.
He told reporters in Scotland: “I don’t really react to any sort of speculation, especially when someone who I have the utmost respect for is sitting in that job that the speculation is about.
“For me, I’m in a very big job and a very big role here that I’m very much fully focused on. We’ve got a top-of-the-table clash at the weekend and it’s a game I’m very much looking forward to.
“But I’ve certainly got one eye on Newcastle in terms of Brucie getting his 1000th game. He’s a great character of the game, someone who I’ve got a personal relationship with and the utmost respect for, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him get that 1000th game.
"I think it’s a mammoth achievement so congratulations to him for the weekend.”
Bruce admitted last week he was fearing the sack, with reports suggesting he could land an £8million pay off.
Gerrard continued: “I think the character that Steve Bruce is, I don’t think he’d want anyone to have sympathy for him or feel sorry for him.
“Sitting in this position I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to be speculating about my job so I certainly won’t be getting involved in any speculation towards his.
“I think it’s interesting what’s happening at Newcastle and if anybody deserves a break it’s the Geordie fans so I’m sure the excitement level is high.
“Anyone with an interest in the game is looking on with interest to see how that develops.
“But from a personal point of view, I don’t really get involved in speculation and I wish Steve Bruce all the best.”