Steve Bruce pledges he will not 'shirk away' from Newcastle United challenge as pressure mounts on under-fire Magpies boss

Steve Bruce has come out fighting amid fan criticism of his Newcastle United tenure admitting he’s ‘not one to shirk away’ from the challenge at St James’s Park.

Saturday, 26th December 2020, 10:11 am

Bruce and his team have been under fire from the United faithful of late after four abject performances against a quartet of sides who are either currently plying their trade in the second tier in 2020, or were so earlier in the year.

The last four performances seem to be the collective straw that has broken the camel’s back for many, after 18 months of patchy form and performances under Bruce.

But the manager says he’s up for the fight at United, with Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester City looming large on the Magpies’ horizon.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce.

"Certainly I'll get ready for the challenge, I'm not one to shirk away from something. "That's my job and what I get paid for,” said Bruce.

"We have it all to do at the minute.

"That's what happens in the big league and it becomes very difficult but let's see what we're made of."

On growing negativity towards himself and his players, Bruce continued: “It's a difficult challenge as it is, we're playing one of the best teams in the world – let's be brutally honest.

"We have to make sure we treat it well and get over the disappointment of Tuesday, let's roll our sleeves up and show what we're made of.

"This league is unforgiving and very difficult at times.

"That is what the Premier League is so we have to get ready for the challenge."

After a bruising few weeks the United boss admits he is likely to shuffle his pack for the trip to the Etihad tomorrow evening, giving some over-exerted players a well-earned break.

"It's been very difficult the last week or 10 days,” he said.

"We have freshened up but we are desperately short in defensive areas where it has hit us most badly.

"So yes we will look to freshen up and it's vitally important we do that because we have some big games coming up.

"It is sometimes the most difficult part but you have to lift them up and get ready for it."

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