This is what Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce must remember the next time he speaks to the media

Journalists are an easy target for football managers.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:30 pm

Steve Bruce has taken a few swings at reporters in his two years at Newcastle United.

Bruce, the subject of “we want Brucie out chants” from returning fans, blamed one particular newspaper for the “negativity” around the club after his team’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, where travelling fans saw a strong first-half performance.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, the negativity this season is primarily down to a lack of summer investment – and a series of defeats and unconvincing performances.

Bruce – who wanted two late loan signings – didn’t publicly criticise owner Mike Ashley after the transfer window closed, though he still made his unhappiness known after the transfer window closed without any further first-team business.

This irritated United’s hierarchy, and a lengthy club statement on the window, which saw midfielder Joe Willock return on a permanent deal, was seemingly aimed as much at Bruce as the supporters.

It read: “There was a shared understanding that further additions to the playing squad would be heavily influenced by player trading, both in terms of available funds and space in the squad.”

Steve Bruce at Old Trafford.

Bruce’s answers at Old Trafford, meanwhile, irritated supporters. The 60-year-old has spoken well as head coach at Newcastle when he’s been humble, but we haven’t seen much humility, or introspection, so far this season.

The second-bottom club’s plight isn’t the media’s fault.

Instead, it’s in large part down to Ashley, who’s one person Bruce won’t take a swing at.

Bruce is also culpable. The responsibility for preparing the team rests with him, and what we’ve seen so far hasn’t been nearly good enough.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.

That said, Bruce remains safe in his position at Newcastle. There’s no appetite for a managerial change at the club, which finished 12th in the Premier League last season.

Bruce, however, needs to remember that when he’s talking to journalists, he’s also talking to the club’s supporters.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription; sign up here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor