The full transcript as Steve Bruce is questioned on his Newcastle United future

Steve Bruce was questioned on his future at Newcastle United after last night’s shocking defeat at the Amex Stadium.

Sunday, 21st March 2021, 3:27 pm

Bruce’s relegation-threatened side was convincingly beaten 3-0 by Brighton and Hove Albion, a club which had previously only won once at home all season.

The defeat, labelled “abysmal” by club legend Alan Shearer, led to more calls for a managerial change, but United's head coach, crucially, retains the backing of owner Mike Ashley.

Here, we print Bruce’s post-match exchange with Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie on the game – and his own position.

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How has that left you feeling?

“Disappointed, frustrated. Angry too, I suppose. It was a very difficult evening for us.

"All week we worked tirelessly on how we were going to play, and we simply didn’t do enough with or without the ball in a big game. We have to admit that Brighton were far better than us in every department.

Yesterday, you said this was your biggest game of the season. Where does that performance leave your position as manager?

Steve Bruce.

“Well, as I’ve always said, that’s for other people to answer, but the one thing that I won’t ever do is give up on anything, as we’ve had a bad defeat.

"We’ve been OK, I believe, we haven’t been sensational over the last few weeks, but tonight we have to accept, I have to accept, the criticism that’s going to come our way and the fallout from it, because we were simply nowhere near good enough on a big occasion.

"On a big game, we simply haven’t done enough. Of course, the buck stops with me. It always does, and I have no problems (with that), because of the way we played, I fully understand the frustration and disappointment of everybody, and rightly so.”

You’ve said you want the best for the club. Do you think, after that performance, you staying in charge is the best for the club?

Leandro Trossard celebrates his goal.

“Well, I believe that. I’ve been around the block a long, log time. You don’t do 980 games … and that experience, I’m trying to draw on it over the last few weeks in particular. I’m not the type to just walk away from a bad defeat. You’re going to have to ask others if you keep asking the same question.”

Is that your lowest point in your tenure as manager?

“You have to accept the defeat. I’ll probably feel the lowest maybe tomorrow or the day after, and have to deal with the consequences.

"I was absolutely of Brighton being, no disrespect to Brighton, that far in front of us in every departure – with the ball, without the ball. We didn’t do enough. That’s the biggest frustration that, certainly I feel, sitting here.”

Do you fear relegation after that performance?

“You can be beaten, that’s for sure, but it’s the manner in which you get beat. I have to accept that we were beaten far too easily. No disrespect to Brighton, you can accept it when you play some of the big teams in the Premier League.

"Tonight, in all departments, we simply weren’t good enough. I have to accept that, and accept the criticism that comes my way.”

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