This is why Steve Bruce ignores his online critics at Newcastle United
Steve Bruce says he has enough to worry about at Newcastle United – without reading what’s written about him on social media.
Bruce is preparing his team for Sunday’s behind-closed-doors home game against Premier League leaders Everton.
United's head coach – who guided the club to a 13th-placed finish last season – has come in for more criticism in recent few weeks.
With fans unable to attend games due to the coronvirus pandemic, supporters have given their views on Bruce – and his tactics – on social media.
However, Bruce – who demanded more “balanced” reporting of his team earlier this month – says he doesn’t read what fans are saying online. The 59-year-old has also whether questioned his harshest critics represent the majority view on Tyneside.
Asked about so-called “keyboard warriors” on Twitter and other social media platforms, Bruce said: "I never, ever read.
"I hear now and again, but, as I've said, with management, everybody's got a platform, everybody's got an opinion, ‘keyboard warriors’ – or whatever you call them.
"Are they the majority of supporters? I doubt it. Everybody's entitled to their opinion. I don't often agree with them, but I can't get myself worked up into a frenzy because of the keyboard warriors, that's for sure. The job's difficult enough without having to worry about all that nonsense.”
Bruce says the fans he has encountered on his native Tyneside since succeeding Rafa Benitez at St James’s Park last year have been “hugely respectful” towards him.
"The vast majority of people to be fair are hugely respectful – and behind me – and I genuinely think that,” said Bruce. "In the 15 months, I haven't had one person who has come up and have a pop or whatever, so in that respect, they've been respectful.
"Everybody's got their opinion on what we have to do, and what we have to be, but I'll just keep plodding away – and see what we can achieve."
There was criticism for Bruce from outside the region after last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.
Bruce – who has tried to get his team more on the front foot since taking charge – had set up his team to frustrate Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
“It’s important to have the ability to change,” said Bruce. “Last week, in particular, we had to be better defensively. We had to do something about that to give ourselves a chance. Even with the (injury) problems we had, we did that well.
"We’ve been too easy to play against, and haven't done enough defensively. We can’t keep conceding the goals we’ve been conceding. We have to show that resilience again to give ourselves a chance.
"We ain’t going to score two or three goals every week. We'd love to, don’t get me wrong. We’d love to be the entertainers again, but it’s just not possible.
"We have to get that balance right of, yes, being difficult to beat, and being more of a threat the other way. That’s what we’ve got to try and achieve if we can.”