Steve Bruce has warned his players not to become distracted by the ongoing takeover saga that looks set to drag into our return to Premier League football – despite accepting “there’s obviously something rumbling along”.
The gaffer was speaking ahead of our clash with Sheffield United this weekend, where we look to complete a League double over the Blades.
Here is what Bruce has to say in full in his pre-match press conference, which was delivered via a Zoom call:
“Any distraction at boardroom level of course creates a little bit of uncertainty. I think the one thing we have experienced, not me personally, but a lot of the supporters is that it seems to have happened so many times, so people are becoming a little bit used to it.
“I can’t influence what is happening above me. The only thing I can focus on really is making sure that my staff and the preparation of the players is in place to keep our heads down.
“We can’t influence anything that’s happening, as I said above us and at boardroom level.
“What we can’t do is make this as an excuse. There’s obviously something rumbling along we’re all aware of that and it’s just to focus on the game on Sunday, the game on Wednesday and the cup tie following weekend.
“Let’s not make it a distraction or an excuse, let’s get stuck into it and see where we can finish.”
Bruce is likely still in the dark about the takeover as was reported last week, but the noises in the press over the past couple of months would have obviously been heard by players and staff alike.
His words on this being a potential but unacceptable excuse echo what skipper Jamaal Lascelles said yesterday, with the skipper insisting that the players are raring to go and will not get complacent while being eight points from safety.
Our cup clash against City is the big one for every Toon fan out there, so let’s hope Bruce understands this as he has a safety cushion in the league which allows him to play a strong side a week on Sunday.