Bruce responds to crisis claims
Steve Bruce has eased talk about Newcastle United being in crisis although he admits results need to improve.
Corbridge-born Bruce landed in the St James’ Park hot seat this summer, taking over from Spanish tactician Rafael Benitez, and the former Sheffield Wednesday manager’s arrival did not go down well with the Geordie faithful.
Having seen another takeover bid fall short and Benitez leave the club, the supporters’ relationship with owner Mike Ashley is nothing less than toxic and protests have taken place during the first two games of the season.
Newcastle’s dismal start to the 2019/20 campaign has brought the mood down even further, with a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal on the opening weekend followed by a 3-1 thumping at the hands of Norwich City last weekend.
Bruce’s odds to be the first Premier League manager to get the sack have already been chopped in half, leaving him as the favourite with many bookmakers, and there is already huge pressure on his shoulders at this early stage.
Club-record signing Joelinton has failed to hit the ground running since his £40million arrival from Hoffenheim, while fellow summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin picked up an injury during his debut against the Gunners.
Next up for the Magpies is a trip to Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and a third straight defeat for the visitors would leave Bruce’s position unstable just three games into the season.
Newcastle have lost the last four meetings against Spurs – conceding six goals and scoring just once – while the north-east outfit have only tasted success two times from the previous eight contests.
It has been confirmed Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle will not be available as they recover from their respective injuries but Christian Atsu, who has yet to feature this term, is pushing for a place in the squad.
As for Saint-Maximin, the former France Under-21 international could be involved after recently recovering from the knock that kept him out of the loss to the Canaries at Carrow Road.
Speaking ahead of the London trip, Bruce has attempted to downplay talks of a crisis at the club although he did concede the only way to turn things around is to starting winning games.
"There's always a storm in Newcastle and at the minute, we're in one." 🌩️
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 23, 2019
It would be a surprise if Newcastle were to pull the trigger on Bruce so early but one potential candidate is already eyeing up the position further down the line.
Former Magpies winger David Ginola, who spent two years at St James’ Park from 1995-1997, revealed on Thursday that he would “love” to take charge of the Magpies after confirming he is going for his coaching badges.