Steve Bruce reflects on Mike Ashley's controversial Newcastle United tenure

Steve Bruce says he’ll always be grateful to Mike Ashley for one thing.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 6:58 pm

Ashley sold the club last week in a £300million deal to a consortium led by Amanda Staveley. Newcastle were relegated twice during Ashley’s 14 years as owner, and the club spent much of that time fighting relegation.

Bruce – who will remain in charge for Sunday’s home game against Tottenham Hotspur – was asked for his reflections on Ashley's time as owner at yesterday’s press conference.

“I’ve had two years (under Ashley),” said Bruce. “He’s given me the opportunity to manage this club.

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"It’s been difficult. I think we all understand it very, very quickly, because we want Newcastle to be at the top end of the division, not the bottom end. Unfortunately, we’ve been in the bottom half of the division more in the last 10 years. To improve on that is the key to it. I’ll let other people judge that.

"For me, he gave me the opportunity to manage this club, so I’ll always be thank him for that.”

Bruce, on a rolling contract at Newcastle, hopes to stay on at the club.

The 60-year-old said: “Who wouldn’t want to try? I’m not going to give up the hope of it. Who wouldn’t want this job now going forward, the way it is, the way it looks in the future? Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to manage Newcastle?

Steve Bruce at his unveiling as head coach in 2019.

“Certainly, I would, and I’m sure there’s hundreds who’d want to do the same thing. There are exciting times ahead for the club, that’s for sure.”

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