Steve Bruce describes the 'dark moments' he's had in a 'rollercoaster' year as Newcastle United manager

Friday marked 12 months in the job for Steve Bruce at Newcastle United – and he admits he’s enjoyed the year ‘on the whole’.

Sunday, 19th July 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th July 2020, 5:25 pm

But in what has proved a rollercoaster first season on his native Tyneside, Bruce admits there have been ‘dark moments’ since he took the reigns from popular Spaniard Rafa Benitez.

“There is never a dull moment with Newcastle United, is there?” said Bruce.

"It has been a bit of rollercoaster.”

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14: Joelinton of Newcastle United celebrates after escores his team's fourth goal with Manager Steve Bruce during the FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Newcastle United and Rochdale at St. James Park on January 14, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Bruce continued: “I didn’t celebrate it (his one year anniversary). It just passed by.

“It would have been easy a year ago to turn it down – that never came into my thoughts.

“I have enjoyed it. There have been some dark moments where you are not happy but I was determined if I was to take it on, the easy thing was to stay where I was, I knew it was going to be difficult. I have been around the block a few times.

“I was determined to enjoy it and on the whole I have."

Just five months into his time at United came the darkest of dark moments for Bruce – pain of the home defeat to Leicester City.

New Year’s Day, new dawn? Well, not quite for United.

Bruce’s Magpies lost three players to injury within 10 minutes and when a fourth picked up a knock in the second period, United had to play out the 3-0 loss in front of their own fans with just 10 players on the park.

“The worst ones are the ones where you get badly beaten,” said Bruce, whose side take on Brighton & Hove Albion tomorrow at the AMEX Stadium.

"The game against Leicester in particular, where we lost three players in 10 minutes – that was a dark moment.

"It’s them moments more than anything where you’ve been beaten badly – that’s when you have to roll up your sleeves and respond. It’s difficult but getting beat is always the part the manager has to manage."

On this season’s expectations, Bruce has been criticised of late for seeming to accept his lot and be content at mid-table in the Premier League.

Bruce says that’s not even close to the truth.

“We can't just be stuck in mid-table – we have to keep moving forward as best we can,” said Bruce.

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