Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce believes criticism from some fans is ‘personal’, but says he will not walk away from the club because of it.
Bruce has been in charge of the Magpies since July 2019, taking over from fan favourite Rafa Benitez at St. James’ Park.
Fans of the club have started a ‘Bruce Out’ movement following defeat to Sheffield United, who picked up their first win of the Premier League season after 18 games against Newcastle, with Bruce admitting afterwards that he picked the wrong team for the game.
Bruce believes though that the criticism is personal from some, because they never thought he should have got the job to begin with.
Speaking in his pre-game press conference ahead of Monday’s trip to Arsenal (via BBC), Bruce said: “I’ve made a career of never giving in so I won’t [now], I will keep trying to do my utmost to make this better.
“[The criticism] has been personal from day one – certain people out there think I shouldn’t have been in the job to start with. All I can do is accept it and try not to be too down with it.”
Newcastle are winless in six games in the Premier League and have slipped into 15th position in the league, and they’ve been knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the semi-finals and the FA Cup in the third round, with the club’s official supporters trust claiming they are ‘sleepwalking to relegation’.
Bruce acknowledged that his side are in a relegation battle this season but defended his defensive approach to games.
“I understand the supporters’ frustration and anger – I would be the same way,” added Bruce, who was a Newcastle United fan growing up.
“But I keep stressing if you’re in the bottom half of the Premier League, you have to be a bit pragmatic. Now, getting that balance right, I fully, fully understand.
“Have Newcastle been a good watch for years? We’ve been in the bottom half of the Premier League. Now we’re not saying it’s acceptable, but it’s the way it is. So we have to have a certain way of defending well, but I agree we have to offer more going forward.”