Steve Bruce tells Newcastle United critics to 'eat humble pie' after 12th-placed finish

Steve Bruce says those who wrote off his Newcastle United side should “eat humble pie”.

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 6:40 pm
Steve Bruce embraces Joe Willock at the final whistle.
Steve Bruce embraces Joe Willock at the final whistle.

Owner Mike Ashley was at Craven Cottage to watch the game, which followed a midweek win over Sheffield United.

The result saw the club, which was deep in relegation trouble in late March following a 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, end the season in 12th place – and 17 points above the relegation zone.

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“We made hard work of the second half, but we defended well,” said United head coach Bruce. “There were a lot of tired bodies, but I’m delighted with the way we have finished the season. When we really needed the results, the players and the staff have worked tirelessly to turn it round.

“We’ll never say it’s an achievement to finish 12th for a club of our stature, but it’s an achievement. I hope the people who have written us off, they’ll eat humble pie – and give us some credit.”

Bruce was asked about the possibility of re-signing in-form Willock, signed on loan from Arsenal in January’s transfer window.

The midfielder, 21, ended the season with seven goals from seven games, and eight in total.

“I couldn’t be more pleased for him,” Bruce told Match of the Day. “He’s done so well. We’ll try our utmost to keep him, but we must respect that he’s Arsenal’s player."