Steve Bruce reveals why he's feeling safer in the Newcastle United job
Steve Bruce was on a beach this time last year following his dismissal at Aston Villa – and bookmakers felt that another sunshine break was on the horizon earlier this season.
That was after Newcastle United’s 5-0 defeat to Leicester City in late September.
However, Bruce is still in employment following an improvement on the field, and the 58-year-old will breathe a sigh of relief if his 15th-placed team can record back-to-back Premier League wins ahead of the international break.
“I think some of us look at October, November, and think we have gone past that hurdle of getting the sack,” said United’s head coach, whose side take on Bournemouth at St James’s Park this afternoon. “I shouldn’t say that, but a lot of managers think we have to get to the breaks.
“When you look at December, we have six games in the month, and that month will probably define your season. If we can get to that with a platform of 15 points, that wouldn’t be a bad return.”
Asked if managers always looked towards the breaks, Bruce said: “Well, it’s always the time when managers are sacked. It gives the clubs two weeks to get a new manager, and it always seems to happen then.
“So, all of us, say ‘let’s get through that first one in September’.
“You usually get away with that one. October is a bad month, and this flaming one at the end of November is awful! This time last year I was on a beach.
“Look, in management, you want a decent start – it helps everything you’re trying to do – and, unfortunately, we all can't have a decent start. Then it's ‘can you get to the break?’.”
There were calls for Bruce to go after what he himself described as an “embarrassing” defeat at the King Power Stadium.
Newcastle beat Manchester United 1-0 in their next game.
“Well, in your real tough times, then the only thing you can do as a manager is say 'how can I get them to react?’,” said Bruce.
“We need a reaction to it, and it can't be another performance like that, otherwise everybody’s in trouble.”