Steve Bruce clarifies controversial comments on 'expectations' at Newcastle United
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Some supporters felt that Bruce had suggested that the club’s fanbase had “unrealistic expectations” in a wide-ranging interview with talkSPORT this week.
"It’s difficult managing the expectation, which obviously is still there,” said Bruce, who also spoke about the criticism he has faced since succeeding Rafa Benitez at the club two years ago.
Bruce’s comments came after the club, which is 16th in the Premier League with three games left to play, secured its top-flight status for another season.
United’s head coach was asked about his comment – and if he had meant that he believes expectations on Tyneside are unrealistic – ahead of tomorrow night’s home game against Premier League champions Manchester City.
“No, it’s not what I meant at all,” said Bruce.
“They’re right to have a demand, the supporters. It’s what makes the club unique and great, is the support. We all don’t want to be in the bottom half of the division, so we have to make some strides towards getting in the top 10.
“We can’t do it like what Aston Villa have done in the last 18 months, where they have got a spending power which has enabled them to do that, so we have to go about or job and little by little build a team that is capable.
“I know we all aspire to be in the top 10. That quote, my lack of vocabulary is probably (at fault).
"The club is unique because of the unbelievable support that we have, and we have to get a team together that the supporters enjoy watching.
"I’m sure all of them will have enjoyed last week against Leicester, and certainly against Liverpool. When everybody’s fit, I think we’ve got the makings of a half-decent team.”
Bruce says Premier League safety, while welcome, is no cause alone for celebration.
“Not going to celebrate it,” said Bruce, who has been noniminated for April’s Premier League Manager of the Month award following an upturn in results. “We all want to see Newcastle in a better position.”