Steve Bruce opens up on criticism and why some of it is 'over the top' as Newcastle United fans prepare for St James's Park return
Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce accepts the criticism that has come his way this season – but believes some of it has “gone over the top”.
The 60-year-old has endured a tough campaign as Toon boss after a promising start turned into a relegation battle.
A run of two wins in 21 matches between January and early-April had United heading towards the Championship as fans on social media overwhelmingly called for Bruce to be sacked.
However, when those demands peaked after the 3-0 defeat to Brighton, Bruce, publicly supported by owner Mike Ashley, led the Magpies into an unbeaten April – which proved the catalyst to sealing their Premier League status.
Bruce picked up the manager of the month award but despite the turnaround, some supporters still maintain their unfavourable stance on the former Manchester United defender’s future.
He accepts fans’ views but alluded to the abuse he has received on social media as times when it has gone too far.
"If you don't win you are going to get criticised,” Bruce said.
"This is the Premier League, the biggest and best league in the world.
“You have to accept that.
“Maybe some of it has gone over the top a bit sometimes - and when you get into the hatred on social media, those realms.
“If you want to be a football manager in the Premier League you have to get used to criticism because it follows you, which is part of the game.”
Incredibly, after a deeply disappointing season, Bruce has the opportunity to surpass last season's points tally (44) with wins against already relegated Sheffield United and Fulham.
That would represent progression in terms of points but Bruce admits United need to be aiming much higher.
He added: "It is important for me.
“After, let's be honest, a difficult, difficult season, particularly through those winter months. We are never going to settle for 45 points as a benchmark. We have to try and progress and get better than that.
“But if we can get to 45, with the problems we have had, we will accept it. We all know we still have aspirations to be better than that.”