Steve Bruce blasts ‘absolutely sh**e’ Newcastle performance at Sheffield United

Newcastle are making quite a habit of allowing some of the worst teams in Premier League history a comfortable three points.

The Magpies were the only top-flight team beaten by Derby County in 2007/08 as the Rams mustered a pathetic 11 points from their 38 league outings. So, when Newcastle travelled to Sheffield United to face a side without a win in their opening 17 league games, it probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise that they got completely outclassed.

Newcastle were awful at Sheffield United on TuesdayNewcastle were awful at Sheffield United on Tuesday
Newcastle were awful at Sheffield United on Tuesday | Stu Forster/Getty Images

It may have only bee a single goal that separated the two sides in the Blades’ 1-0 victory at
Bramall Lane, but in truth it could have been about five.

Chris Wilder’s men spurned a host host of first-half chances, and in the end relied on a Billy Sharp penalty to down ten-man Newcastle – after Ryan Fraser was shown two yellow cards in the opening 45 minutes – but that hasn’t stopped Steve Bruce from tearing into his side.

“We were absolutely frigging hopeless the other night,” he said, quoted by the Daily Mail. ‘”Absolute sh**e we were. I have to accept it. I’ve let them [the players] be comfortable but the gloves are off now. I’m going to do it my way. I’ve said from day one the way I wanted to play and haven’t done it enough.”

Despite lambasting his side’s shocking performance at Bramall Lane, Bruce shouldered some of the blame for the performance by admitting he chose the wrong team, and he says he understands fans’ concerns following the defeat.

Stephen Clemence, Steve Bruce, Steve AgnewStephen Clemence, Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew
Bruce was furious at the final whistle at Bramall Lane | Stu Forster/Getty Images

“If I was a supporter, I’d be concerned as well after watching the first half at Sheffield United, we were absolutely hopeless,” he added. Unfortunately, in my 18 months here, we’ve thrown that hand grenade in too often for my liking. It all blows up after that.

“In hindsight, I picked the wrong team. I have to accept the performance was nowhere near good enough and take responsibility.”

Bruce has been no stranger to criticism since being handed the reins at St. James’ Park in 2019, though the pressure from the fans has intensified this season – despite the club sitting seven points above the relegation zone.

The Newcastle boss conceded he’s well aware his appointment wasn’t a particularly popular one amongst the Toon Army, though he’s confident he’s the man to take the club forward.

“In some people’s eyes I was never the right choice. I can understand that,” he said.

“But if you look at my record over the years, for being a team that is in the bottom half of the league, then I’ve got enough on my C.V. to make sure I can try and slowly take the club forward. That’s what I’m here for and that’s what I will continually try to achieve.”

Despite admitting he understands the frustration from the fans, Bruce refused to accept his team’s style of play was any different to the Newcastle sides to have gone before him in the club’s recent past, and he says he doesn’t take the abuse from the fans to heart.

“When I took the job from day one it [criticism] has been personal,” he added. “People out there think I should not be in the job to start with. I have to not get too down with it, I know how quickly it changes.

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“We have been on a difficult run. We’re not alone in that. If you’re in the bottom half you’ll have spells where you don’t win every week. We’re not easy on the eye. I understand that. But have Newcastle United been a good watch for years? 

“They’ve been in the bottom half of the Premier League, that’s the reality. I’m not saying it’s acceptable.”

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