Steve Bruce reveals Mike Ashley's message to him and his Newcastle United players

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Mike Ashley “sent his support” to Steve Bruce during the international break.

Ashley backed Bruce amid intensified calls for him to be dismissed in the wake of relegation-threatened Newcastle United’s shocking 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion last month.

Bruce – who also insisted that he would not “walk away” from the job after the game at the Amex Stadium – was asked about the support he got from the club’s owner ahead of Sunday’s home fixture against Tottenham Hotspur.

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“He sent his support to rally the troops, get behind everybody,” said Bruce, United’s head coach, who hopes to have Allan Saint-Maximin back for the fixture against Jose Mourinho’s side.

“I have an everyday rapport with the CEO (managing director Lee Charnley). That's who I report to day in, day out. That’s the way it is.

"Lee Charnley comes down to the training ground every week. There's nothing different in that, nothing different whatsoever in that. He comes down every week to see how things are. There's nothing new or different to that. That's the way it works."

The Brighton defeat left the 17th-placed club just two points above the relegation zone ahead of the Tottenham game.

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Bruce added: "I never take anything for granted, and I realise the performance was not good enough. You have to accept it – and move on. Because we're in a fight, the last thing I want to do is walk away. Certain individuals are entitled to an opinion, but I’m determined to see it through."

Steve Bruce.Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

Asked if there had been some “soul searching” at the training ground since the Brighton game, Bruce said: “Look, when you get beat, and when you get beat badly, then the one thing you want is to have another game around the corner, so you could say we've all been stewing for a while."But, look, we've got to leave it behind, we've got to now focus on Tottenham and play better than what we did in our last game. That's all we'll focus on now, the next game, and it is upon us, and let's get ready for that challenge."

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