I’m in danger of sounding like a broken record, but Steve Bruce continues to do himself no favours – this time in his post-match comments following last night’s lucky escape at Newport.
This is the third or fourth time (in six games) that he’s said we haven’t played well enough, however I’ve noticed there’s always a ‘but’ from Bruce.
Just as you’d like to hear him accept it’s not good enough and things need to change, he either brands the criticism excessive, gets defensive or makes an excuse.
This time, he’s called out those who are “all of a sudden questioning tactics”, saying he’s “disappointed” by it all.
Here’s what he’s had to say, following another excruciating display with yet another frustrating interview:
“I agree we didn’t play well enough…but now all of a sudden it’s questioning tactics.
“I find the whole thing disappointing.
“We don’t go out there not wanting to play well.
“I thoroughly think we deserved to go through.
“You can see how they have beaten Swansea and Watford.
“They play a certain way for a lower division team.
“They got the goal early and as if they didn’t have enough belief, that gave them a bit more.
“They certainly had belief and we found it difficult, hats off to them.
“They defended with their lives at the end and it took a real bit of quality because, the way it was going, I didn’t think we would get the breakthrough.
“But we are through.
“I thought we played well in the last half an hour.”
If he’s disappointed, he should try watching the performances he’s orchestrated over the past few months, with us resorting to long balls to Andy Carroll last night in our woeful attempt to break down a League Two side!
What’s frustrating is he says we’re “all of a sudden” starting to doubt his tactics as if this is the first time we’ve had complaints.
Hardly accurate when both journalists and fans have asked “what is the plan?” on countless occasions since he took the job 15 months ago.
Finishing 13th last season and enjoying a cup run was an achievement given so many backed him to send us down, but we all knew that this style of play and level of performance was always going to catch up with us.
Playing well was often the exception and so many of our results included an element of luck – something that’s been on our side at Spurs on Sunday and again last night at Newport.
That luck will run out before long and there’ll be more grim days like that hammering at home to Brighton – yet Bruce seems reluctant to accept the clear flaws in his current approach and instead plays the victim or defends himself, as if we’re being unreasonable to complain.