Steve Bruce has been speaking to the press this morning and has inevitably faced up to questions on Sunday’s unacceptable display in that ugly 0-3 defeat to Brighton at St James’ Park.
After blaming the loss on early errors less than 48 hours ago, his responses on the matter today are mixed shall we say.
On one hand he finally accepts that he got it wrong and takes responsibility, yet he also claims that the defeat has been ‘sensationalised’, claiming other teams have played poorly this weekend but haven’t got the same level of criticism.
Here’s what he’s had to say:
“Let’s be honest, I got the decision wrong at the weekend because we got beat.
“If you pick a team and you get beat then it’s the manager’s fault.
“It’s as simple as that.”
Finally taking some of the responsibility for Sunday’s horror show – although it was the tactics he got wrong as much team selection – however his next set of comments won’t sit too well with some:
“There are other teams that play poorly and don’t get the sensational headlines that we get but that’s what we have to deal with and have to accept,”
“Look, we were nowhere near good enough. Hold your hands up, roll your sleeves up and get on with it again.”
I’ve got competition everywhere across the pitch and that can only be a good thing.”
Other teams did play poorly over the weekend – Southampton and West Brom shipped 5 against Spurs and Everton respectively – but I watched both of those games and they looked MUCH more likely to score and far more in the game than we ever did on Sunday.
More to the point, we were playing Brighton – not sides managed by Mourinho and Ancelotti who’re pushing for Europe – so the manor of our defeat was alarming and worthy of major criticism. We had ZERO shots on target, looked unable to compete in any area of the pitch and could’ve conceded FIVE if it wasn’t for the woodwork.
Bruce seems thin skinned in moments like this and tends to play the victim. If this hammering at the hands of Brighton and awful display that came with it was the exception then we could cope, but the truth is that this sort of result has been coming based on our underlying struggles at both ends of the pitch under Steve Bruce.
We need some actual identity and a realisation that you can’t just be unchanged because it would be ‘unfair’ if we didn’t – not to simply ‘roll our sleeves up’ and ‘get on with it’.
Those comments sadly stink of a man who may excel in man management but doesn’t tend to do tactics – as he proved on Sunday in that appalling effort to cope with a tactically astute Brighton side who Bruce had no answer for.