Steve Bruce reveals the highs and lows of his Newcastle United career so far

Steve Bruce has reflected on the highs and lows of his tenure at Newcastle United so far – as he waits for football to resume.

Newcastle are 13th with nine games left to play – and in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Bruce came under pressure early in his time at St James’s Park following a series of disappointing performances and results, which culminated in an embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Leicester City, the lowpoint as head coach.

A week later, a goal from teenager Matty Longstaff on his Premier League debut gave Bruce the highlight of his time at United so far, a 1-0 home win over Manchester United.

“There have been some lows,” said Bruce. “I think the lowest was Leicester, even though we had 10 men.

“The highlight was seeing the young Longstaff smash that one in against Man United. To beat Chelsea, Tottenham and Man United, they’ve got to be the highs.”

Matty Longstaff celebrates his goal against Manchester United with Andy Carroll.

However, the 59-year-old – who signed three players on loan in January – changed system again before the shutdown in an attempt to get more on the front foot.

“I think you need time – time is crucial in management now,” said Bruce. “I think it was important we brought in two or three players in January. Their actual presence in being here helped everyone, so I just think it's a bit of time.

“My own philosophy is what you have seen recently. That's the way we want to go, that's the way I want to go, but I didn't think the players were ready for change, so I previously left it alone. They were comfortable in it.”

Bruce inherited a tight-knit group of players from Benitez.

Steve Bruce.

“There's a unique spirit amongst them,” he said. “Some of them have been here four or five years. I think they grasp what the club means, and I think that helps, because it’s a difficult place to play and manage, but these lads have done very well.”