Steve Bruce's blunt reaction to social media criticism after Newcastle United defeat

Steve Bruce says he and his Newcastle United players must accept the criticism that’s coming their way.

Bruce’s side were beaten 3-0 by Brighton and Hove Albion yesterday in front of owner Mike Ashley.

There was an online backlash to the embarrassing behind-closed-doors Premier League defeat, which had followed wins over West Ham United and Blackburn Rovers.

Asked about fan criticism of his team and his tactics, head coach Bruce said: "I wouldn’t expect anything else. We’ve just been beaten badly at home, so we have to accept what’s coming.

"That’s the thing about playing for a big club, you can’t go up and down, but, unfortunately, in the 15 or 16 months I’ve been here, that seems to happen."

Newcastle never recovered after conceding two early goals, and Bruce told BBC Sport: "We gave ourselves a mountain to climb. We've gifted them the first two goals. When you start like that, it'll be a difficult afternoon.

"We changed formation at half time, and it helped us slightly, but we couldn't recover from an awful 10 minutes. Since I've been here, it's like this. We do OK for a while, then we throw a hand grenade in. We've got to be better than we were."

Meanwhile, Brighton head coach Graham Potter said: "To keep a clean sheet and score three goals, creating a few more opportunities and limiting our opponents to not much was positive.

Steve Bruce.

"I'm delighted for the players. It's good to get up and running in the Premier League."