Steve Bruce: Newcastle United's players ARE behind me!

Steve Bruce says he has NOT lost Newcastle United’s dressing room.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 12:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th October 2019, 7:52 am
Steve Bruce.

The club is 19th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s home game against Manchester United.

Bruce is under intense pressure on Tyneside following last weekend’s embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Leicester City.

United’s head coach was critical of his players’ attitude and application at the King Power Stadium, where he felt there had been a “complete surrender” from his team following Isaac Hayden’s first-half dismissal.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Look, it was an extremely difficult afternoon for us, because when you are down to 10 men, the one thing you need to do is go 10, 15, 20 minutes into the second half to give yourself a chance,” said Bruce.

“We've given a bad goal away, a mistake and an own goal.

“Now, we're 3-0 down after 55 minutes and it turns into one of those horrible afternoons. I've got no gripe with you there at all.

“However, when you look at the physical stats of it, we're not doing enough. Maybe we didn't show enough resilience, I agree.

“That is the biggest worry I had last week. There was an acceptance we got beat.

“Any team that I've managed, that's the one thing I hope they are going to do – pull their sleeves up and have a go.”

Bruce, appointed as Rafa Benitez’s successor in the summer, is hopeful that the “unacceptable” performance was a “one-off”.

Asked if the players were still behind him, Bruce said: “Last week was hopefully a one-off.

“I think there is not a dispute that they're with me. I haven't witnessed anything like that.

“However, sometimes you play very, very badly, and last week was unacceptable, so enough has been said on that one, and the only thing you can try now is have a response after a horror show like it is.

“Let's be fair, if you're going to play football for a while, unfortunately horror shows do rear their head, and let's hope it's out the road.”

Bruce, meanwhile, is considering handing Matty Longstaff his Premier League debut tomorrow.

“He’s been in with a chance since I walked through the door. He comes into the equation,” said Bruce.