Steve Bruce has confirmed that he and Matt Ritchie had a training ground bust-up this week – but insists “these things happen” and the player has apologised.
Sadly, however, the shameless Newcastle United boss seemed more concerned about a “so-called journalist” writing a story on an incident that DID actually happen. It seems he’s more bothered the truth was leaked, not that he had a bust-up with a senior player a few days before our huge game.
He claims Craig Hope’s piece for The Mail “borders on treason” and even goes as far as saying the North East reporter thrives on “negative” stories – a pretty pathetic thing to say when he’s confirmed the incident did occur.
Here’s what he’s had to say to talkSPORT, followed by his response to Sky Sports’ Keith Downie and the written press:
He then had this to say to Sky Sports:
Steve Bruce also had this to say to the written press, with Luke Edwards describing it as one of the most ‘explosive’ press conferences he’s witnessed:
“There’s no denying I’ve had a row with Matt but that happens up & down training grounds everywhere. It gets blown out of proportion.
“As far as we’re concerned, Matty apologised but it’s leaked into the media & caused a frenzy.”
“These things happen unfortunately..it gets blown out of proportion”
“The very following day he trained well like you’d expect of Matt and he came in and apologised to me in front of the staff and the players.
“As I said, from that point on, it’s over and done with and move on because it happens on a regular basis”
“The so-called journalist has had his 24 hours now. He’s been on the radio which he craves.”
“I think the relationship I’ve got with the players is as good as it always can be.
“I won’t let anybody try to derail or get in the middle. It’s vitally important we stay together.
“I’ve got every confidence in them – as I hope they have in me.”
So, Steve Bruce has admitted the “most disappointing” thing is that the truth has got out…not that he had a bust-up and shoulder-barged a senior player in front of the entire squad.
That really does say it all.