Newcastle United training ground 'showdown' reports and fan unrest overshadows build-up to must win Leeds United game for under-fire Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce is a man under increasing pressure at Newcastle United and the build-up to a must-win game against Leeds United has been overshadowed further by reports of a training ground ‘showdown’.
The Daily Mail reports there was a ‘bad-tempered exchange’ between assistant boss Graeme Jones – who was part of Gareth Southgate’s England 2020 coaching staff – and striker Dwight Gayle, who could be in line for a start tonight.
Bruce is expected to be quizzed on the reports after tonight’s clash with Leeds United at St James’s Park, a fixture that Newcastle will be looking to win after a winless start to the campaign, with fan pressure rising.
The Mail report: “Newcastle assistant boss Graeme Jones and striker Dwight Gayle were involved in a training-ground showdown this week, with captain Jamaal Lascelles forced to step in after tempers flared.”
There remains a determination within the squad to turn the club’s fortunes around but pressure has been mounting on Bruce for weeks.
In the build-up to the game, Bruce has insisted that he won’t be forced out of Newcastle.
Bruce, the club’s head coach, is under intense pressure following a winless start to the season. There could be further fan protests this evening with fans also angry and frustrated over the stalled takeover, with the Premier League coming in for heavy criticism.
There is expected to be banners and demonstrations at tonight’s game, with fans making their feelings clear.
There were more “we want Brucie out” chants from Newcastle fans during last weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
And Bruce was asked if he would consider his position at the club if the animosity continued – and was to the detriment of the team.
The 60-year-old said: “To the detriment of the team? Well then you start looking at yourself, of course.
"But, knowing the way I am, it’s not in my nature to walk away from something when we’re in a fight ... (saying) ‘oh, it’s too difficult, so I’m going to walk away’ – that doesn’t really register with me,” added the under-fire Newcastle boss.