The Newcastle United dressing room reaction to this Steve Bruce decision will be all-important

Steve Bruce, unwisely, chose not to speak to the written journalists who cover Newcastle United ahead of tonight’s game.

Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 4:08 pm

Bruce – and the club – have been unhappy with what they described as “disrespectful” and “personal” criticism in recent weeks.

And Newcastle’s head coach chose only to speak to TV and radio broadcasters ahead of the Leeds United game at St James’s Park. It wasn't a good look, and only fed into the narrative that Bruce’s time at the club is coming to an end.

The Gazette’s criticism of Bruce, in my view, has neither been disrespectful nor personal. Instead, we feel it’s been fair and balanced, though Bruce is quite entitled to his view.

What we can all agree on is that this team desperately needs a result. Newcastle, 16th in the Premier League and seven points above the relegation zone, have gone 10 games without a win in all competitions, and recent performances have been nowhere near good enough.

Changes in tactics and personnel haven’t worked, and many fans have had enough. They want a managerial change, and owner Mike Ashley has sacked managers with better records.

Bruce, however, retains Ashley’s backing – for now. The club is recruiting Graeme Jones to work with the 60-year-old.

Jones will need time, and results are needed in the meantime. Fans reacted badly to Bruce’s decision to duck questions from written journalists, but the players’ reaction to yesterday’s events – and the weekend’s defeat to Aston Villa – will be all-important. If ever Bruce needed a performance, it’s tonight.

Steve Bruce.

Let’s hope Bruce’s team does his talking on the pitch.

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