Steve Bruce responds to Brendan Rodgers' comments with honest Newcastle United assessment
Steve Bruce has responded to a glowing tribute from Brendan Rodgers ahead of Newcastle United’s visit to the King Power Stadium.
Rodgers said that Bruce had done an “outstanding job” at St James’s Park since succeeding Rafa Benitez at the club in the summer of 2019.
"I think he’s done an outstanding job – and he’s shown he’s an excellent manager,” said Leicester City’s manager.
There were renewed calls for Bruce to be dismissed following a shocking 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in March which left the club perilously close to the Premier League’s relegation zone.
However, United owner Mike Ashley backed Bruce after the loss at the Amex Stadium – and the team claimed two wins and two draws last month to ease relegation concerns.
Bruce is now looking for Newcastle, on 36 points, to match last season’s 44-point tally.
Asked about Rodgers’ assessment of the job he’s done at United, Bruce said: “Look, I’ll never say an outstanding success, that’s for sure. We all have to accept where we are, and that’s the difficulty for all of us.
“We’ve been, unfortunately, in the bottom half of the Premier League for maybe too long, so, for me, it’s always about can we progress? Can we get better? Can we improve slightly?
“That takes time. It’s been the most difficult year in terms of managing with Covid, in particular, and, of course, the injuries to our big players. It’s been a struggle.
“If we can get anywhere near where we got in terms of points last year, which we were close to the previous year and the year before that, we’ll have done OK. But I wouldn’t say outstanding, no.”
Rodgers, however, is doing an outstanding job at Leicester, with the third-placed club in line for Champions League qualification.
“They’re quite remarkable,” said Bruce. “They just missed out on the Champions League last year. They’ve bought well, they’ve sold well. They’ve improved their team.
“I’m delighted for Brendan. They’ve recruited very well. Very good players who have hit the ground running. They’ve got a very, very good manager.”