'Negative' Newcastle United fans may have got Steve Bruce's side relegated – John Barnes' interesting take on supporter lockout

Former Newcastle United attacker John Barnes believes the coronavirus fan lockout has been a positive thing for Steve Bruce and the Magpies – as he believes supporter negative influence may have pushed their team towards the Premier League drop.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 12:30 pm

Speaking with bettingodds.com, Barnes admits that in the current climate and under the ownership of Mike Ashley, Bruce is doing the best job he can. He also claims fans should lower their expectations, as Newcastle shouldn’t be looking ‘at the next level’ in the top flight due to the restrictions of the ownership.

And while fans have felt the pain of not being able to see their team week-in, week-out, Barnes thinks that’s been a positive for Bruce and United – as he thinks the negativity felt by supporters this season may well have translated on to the pitch.

“If Mike Ashley sells the club and they get in somebody who the fans like and they spend more money on players then they can begin to move on,” he said.

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Jamie Carragher speaks with John Barnes for Sky Sports after the Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC at Goodison Park on June 21, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors.

“In the current climate, Steve Bruce is doing as well as any manager could. Newcastle shouldn’t be looking at the next level. They should be looking for stability and the best they can hope for is around mid-table.

“This season it was probably the best thing for them that there were no fans there. Fans would have been negative because of the way that they were playing and I could have seen them getting relegated.

“Unfortunately for Steve, as long as Mike Ashley is the owner, when the fans return there will be that negativity which will affect him and the team.”

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