Steve Bruce's message to unhappy Newcastle United fans

Steve Bruce has issued a message to Newcastle United fans following renewed criticism of his tactics.

There was a backlash from supporters on social media following last weekend’s 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea.

A report which followed that game claimed that Bruce had the “full support” of the club’s hierarchy – and that the senior figures at St James’s Park believed that the most criticism was coming from a minority of fans.

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Bruce, speaking ahead of tonight’s game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, said he hadn’t had any personal assurances about his position.

Asked about criticism from what has been described as a “vocal minority” of supporters, United’s head coach said: “A vocal minority? That’s your call.

"We have got the best and most unique band of supporters the country probably has. That’s what makes this great club unique. The support we’ve got is unbelievable.

"They’re right that they’re not happy at the minute, because they’re not seeing their team play well enough. Move on, focus on the next game, get a response from them, stay as positive as we can and try to improve.”

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Bruce – whose side is 15th in the Premier League table with 11 points from nine games – was also asked for his message to fans.

Steve Bruce.Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

“At the end of the day, we’re all judged on results and where we finish,” said Bruce, who will welcome back striker Callum Wilson back from injury at Selhurst Park. “We would have liked to have been a bit higher last year, but that’s where we are.

"At this particular moment, we’re around where we finished last season so my focus is on trying to improve. In my mind, I still don’t think I’ve picked the team I would like to pick just yet, for one or two reasons.

"I understand that, with the Premier League, it’s about getting a result and playing well, and when you don’t then you come under scrutiny. It’s as simple as that.

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“I didn’t hear many grumblings after the way we played against Everton. We were OK. The way we played against West Ham, the way we played against Burnley, for 80 minutes at Man United we did OK.

"It is what it is, but you have to accept the criticism comes upon you, and, yes, we haven’t played well enough the last two games.

"I don’t think we need to analyse the whole 16 months. You are where you are, and are judged when you come to the end of it.”

Meanwhile, Palace, managed by 73-year-old Roy Hodgson, are 11th in the table.

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“Roy’s hugely respected by us all for what he’s done and achieved,” said Bruce. “It’s no coincidence he’s still performing the way he is.

"Palace are a very decent side with good passers. For what Roy has done and achieved over his career, I’m delighted for him. I don’t think I’ll be going when I’m 70-odd, so fair play to him. He’s still got bundles of that enthusiasm.”

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