Newcastle: Steve Bruce says he has tried to ‘keep respect and dignity’ amid job speculation

‘I hope you feel the heat from your bosses’ – Bruce’s dig at the media

Steve Bruce says there have been “no discussions” on his future – and he has tried to “keep my respect and dignity” following Newcastle’s takeover.

On Friday, new part-owner Amanda Staveley confirmed Bruce will stay in charge for Newcastle’s Premier League game against Tottenham on Sunday.

Staveley said Bruce, who will celebrate his 1,000th game as a manager, will be the “first to know” if things change.

Bruce admitted preparations for the game “have not been easy”.

The Magpies are winless this season and lie second bottom in the league, but the new owners have been linked with former Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre, Rangers’ Steven Gerrard and former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard as potential replacements for Bruce.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers ruled himself out by saying he was “very happy being here at the club”, while former Magpies manager Rafael Benitez, now at Everton, said he wants to “keep my word and continue working here”.

Staveley said the club wanted to be “patient and considered” in their approach and “change doesn’t happen overnight”.

Asked at a news conference on Friday if he can convince the new owners, Bruce replied: “I will have a crack, try my utmost, who wouldn’t want this opportunity? Any manager would love to sit in my chair, so I will make a fist of it and try my utmost. I will try my best for the club.

“I hope you (journalists) are feeling the heat from your bosses, because it (getting replaced) has not happened. Let’s hope you get a bit of stick as well. When you manage in the Premier League you have to take what’s coming your way.

“Ability to see the job through, prepare players best you can and that is what I have concentrated on.

“There have been no discussions on me whatsoever. Certain discussions need to be private, but all about team, injuries, how we will look for weekend. Have to say [they are] very good people and good to see around the training ground.”

‘We are all going to have to be patient’

A £305m Saudi Arabian-backed takeover of the club was completed last week, bringing an end to Mike Ashley’s 14-year spell as Magpies owner.

Bruce has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks and a large proportion of fans want the 60-year-old to leave the club.

Asked if a victory over Spurs would shove it back in people’s faced Bruce replied: “Yes of course it would. I just want to win the match, I know what kind of atmosphere it’s going to be.

“Hopefully we can get us started and get a result which everybody will enjoy.

“We are all going to have to be patient, it won’t transform overnight, these things take time. Now we have the opportunity to mingle with best in PL which we haven’t been doing for a number of years.

“We’ll all look forward to what happens over the next few years.”

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Financier Staveley gave Bruce her backing earlier on Friday and said: “We have had an extremely busy week reviewing the business and getting to know people and it is imperative that we continue to be patient and considered in our approach.

“Change does not always happen overnight. It demands time and that we follow a carefully considered plan and strategy.

“We met Steve and the players on Monday and have given them the time and space this week to focus on preparing for what is a very important game on Sunday.

“Steve has been very professional in our dealings with him and he, and his coaching team, will take the team on Sunday.

“If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know. But, in the meantime, we wish him the best of luck in his 1,000th match as a manager and will be joining you [the fans] in getting right behind the team.”

Bruce ‘considered future’ last summer

Bruce, who is a boyhood Newcastle fan, was appointed Magpies head coach on a three-year contract in 2019 following his resignation as boss of Sheffield Wednesday.

His arrival was greeted with mixed reviews by supporters after Benitez had made a positive impact in the north east.

The club have lost four games and drawn three in the league this campaign and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on penalties by Burnley.

Under Bruce they finished 12th last season, improving on the 13th-placed finish previously.

Bruce added: “All week, the ability of having experience over the last 20-odd years was to get about and do your job until you hear different.

“After a brief 10-minute chat with the new owners where we talked about the team, training, injuries, training ground, it was very informal. I’ll carry on until I hear otherwise – and that is what I have done.

“They made it clear to me to carry on as best I can. I considered my future last summer when we finished 12th, and 13th the season before that. That is when I had a look at it, but I decided to crack on.

“It is my 1,000th game as manager, 950 [more] as a player, been involved 43 years on trot, won every domestic medal over the years.

“What you cry for a is a bit of respect – no matter how difficult it is.”

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