Steve Bruce says supporters calling for him to go are “entitled to their opinion”, insisting he’s resilient enough to handle the criticism coming his way after Tuesday’s Carabao Cup exit at Brentford.
A toothless Toon struggled to land a glove on the Championship outfit in another atrocious display, with the hosts running out 1-0 winners – despite starting the game without several of their first team stars.
Fury towards Bruce escalated on social media following the cup exit, with an @NUFC360 poll showing a staggering 96% of Newcastle fans now in favour of giving him the sack.
Here is what he said after the game, reacting to the abysmal display, awful result and calls for his head:
“I’m a resilient so-and-so, so I’ll need to be ready for what’s coming my way.
“The supporters are entitled to their opinion and I accept that.
“I do think the players are playing for us (me and my staff)…maybe they’re just not playing well enough. Otherwise we wouldn’t have lost tonight. It’s certainly not down to lack of effort or determination.”
“I can only talk about the last 15 months. It’s good to get to a quarter-final but not great when you’ve got the opportunity we had.
“There’s a lot of disappointed people because we’ve missed a big opportunity.
“I stand by what I said when I walked through the door and that’s that I’ll treat the cups as I see fit. I picked a team I thought was good enough to win the match.
“Unfortunately Brentford played very, very well on the night and caused us problems but I’m disappointed we didn’t perform better than we did.
“I’m bitterly disappointed and very, very frustrated tonight.
“You genuinely believe you could score but we had one or two instances where it didn’t quite fall for us. But we didn’t really create much at all. Jacob had a moment where he overran it in the first half but in the end you needed to have a bit of a break and it didn’t go our way.
“We haven’t done enough. We have to accept what’s coming our way and dust ourselves down for what is a huge challenge ahead of us in the Premier League.
“They come thick and fast but I can’t hide my disappointment because we have a great opportunity today to get into a semi-final.
“We’re all desperately disappointed of course because of the opportunity we had. I always knew it would be difficult but I still expected us to perform better than what we did.”
One can only wonder what the noise from the away end would have been like had there been a large contingent of Newcastle fans allowed inside the ground.
Our football is absolutely stinking and has been since the moment he walked through the door. Not only that, it is now evident that the fight and spirit of this Newcastle team is slowly disappearing.
My biggest criticism of Bruce is how he seems incapable of changing the way that we set up or altering his ‘attacking plan’ – despite promising to do so on several occasions.
This was our best chance to reach a cup semi final for a generation, matched up nicely against lower league opposition (who made several changes!) and a strong lineup on paper from us.
A trip to Arsenal in the FA Cup third round will likely extend our harrowing wait without a trophy to 65 years next month. But us fans will still be demanding Champions League football and Premier League titles every season, won’t we?