Steve Bruce takes new swipe at his Newcastle United critics
Steve Bruce has called on his critics to say “well done” to him and his team – after guiding Newcastle United to a 12th-placed finish.
Bruce’s side beat Fulham 2-0 yesterday thanks to goals from Joe Willock and Fabian Schar.
The result saw the club better last season’s 13th-placed finish – and finish on 45 points, one more than a year ago.
Owner Mike Ashley – who attended the game at Craven Cottage with managing director Lee Charnley – resisted calls from fans for Bruce to be sacked following a 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on March 20 which had left the club deep in relegation trouble.
And Ashley's decision to back United’s head coach in the wake of that shocking loss has been vindicated by a remarkable run of five wins from the club’s last nine games.
For his part, Bruce believes those who wrote off his team should “eat a bit of humble pie”.
“There were a lot of questions asked, and rightly so,” said Bruce. “I hope the people who totally wrote us off eat a bit of humble pie, and say ‘well done’. (Let’s) see if they’ve got the courage to do it. It’ll be interesting to see if they have or haven’t.
"We finished 12th and got to 45 points. We’re not going to accept that as an achievement, because I’ve said from day one we’ve got to try to get into the top 10.”
Bruce suggested after the Fulham game that “negativity on social media” towards him was driven by “certain” journalists.
Speaking to NUFC TV, Bruce said: “I know there’s a certain negativity on social media towards me driven by certain press people.
“My big thanks to them (the fans) … I’ve had hundreds of letters to offer support. For them, thank you. They make the club the unique club it is.”
The challenge for Bruce – who has a year left of his contract – is to take the club into the top 10.
“Of course, we can take the club forward, but it’s small steps,” said Bruce, whose main press conference was ended abruptly due to technical problems. “My aim from day one has been to try and keep Newcastle out of the bottom half of the division.”