Scott Parker calls for 'realism' at Newcastle United as he defends 'fantastic' Steve Bruce
Scott Parker believes Newcastle United fans need a sense of “realism” after defending the “fantastic” job Steve Bruce has done.
Magpies supporters again chanted for Bruce to go during the 1-1 draw at Watford on Saturday, which extended the club’s winless start to the campaign to seven matches in all competitions.
Indeed, Bruce has won just seven of his previous 36 games but rather than pin United’s poor form on the head coach, Parker says perspective is needed.
During Parker’s two years as a player on Tyneside, United competed in Europe, and he lifted the Intertoto Cup in 2006.
Since then however, under Mike Ashley’s ownership, Newcastle have been relegated to the Championship twice, with relegation battles a constant theme.
“It’s a one-club city," Parker told talkSPORT. “It’s an intense place to play but an amazing place at the same time. There is no in-between up there – I experienced that. It’s either fantastic or it’s the other way.
"It’s a fantastic club but probably a little bit at times needs to have a real realism about it to really push it on.
“But I also understand the commitment everyone is showing there in terms of the fans and what that club has been used to as such.
"The players and teams I was brought up around under a young age has probably had a big lasting effect on a lot of the fans.”
Parker, now manager of Bournemouth, was head-to-head with Bruce last season as he battled to keep Fulham in the Premier League.
At one stage, it looked as though it would be between Newcastle or the Cottagers for the final relegation place.
That was before Bruce won five of his remaining eight games to surge towards a 12th place finish.
"I think Steve has done a fantastic job there, I honestly do,” Parker added.
"Last year there was talk of it being us (Fulham) and them in the bottom end and we were the last game to kick-off.
"I think Steve kept saying he was without (Callum) Wilson and (Allan) Saint-Maximin. They come back in and they finished 12th, which says a lot.”