'Not the Newcastle United I know' - Former Celtic star shares behind the scenes insight

Gary Caldwell has shed light on his brief spell as Newcastle United under-23s lead coach.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 11:32 am

The former Scotland international, who came through the academy ranks on Tyneside, succeeded Chris Hogg on an interim basis in August.

He was in charge for just 21 days however after taking up the loan manager role at Premier League counterparts Manchester City.

Caldwell initially arrived to help out former teammate and academy manager Steve Harper before applying for the job on a full-time basis.

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Gary Caldwell's interim spell as Newcastle United under-23s lead coach lasted just 21 days. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

However, the 39-year-old’s interest didn’t last long following Man City’s approach.

While Caldwell praises the club’s academy set-up, he revealed his concern over the situation surrounding Steve Bruce and his first-team squad.

Caldwell told the BBC’s Football Daily podcast: "That was why it was such a short time but I was only going in for three weeks to help him (Steve Harper). I did apply for the job but got the City job.

"From the academy's point of view, there are great people. Steve Harper's trying to change a few things. Fantastic facilities. Fantastic football club.

"But I went to a couple of first-team games while I was there and Steve Bruce actually caught the ball during one of the games and the whole stadium started booing as the manager holds the ball.

"When he threw it, they all started cheering and that's not the Newcastle I know.”

Caldwell spent seven years at St James’s Park between 1997 and 2004, which included loan spells at Darlington, Hibernian, Coventry City and Derby County.

He returned to Scotland with Hibs and Celtic before ended his playing career at Wigan Athletic in 2015, where he quickly got his first taste of management.

He guided the Latics to League One promotion before going on to manage Chesterfield and Partick Thistle.

Caldwell continued: "I was there under (Kevin) Keegan, under Bobby Robson, and that stadium and that club...the fans are very positive.

"They have energy, they have a passion for their football club, and the whole club now is in a real state of waiting almost for something to happen and the longer that goes, that has to have a negative impact on results."

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