Steve Bruce has been speaking live on talkSPORT this morning, with Jim White and Simon Jordan discussing a range of topics with the Newcastle United boss.
Although some of it was painful, seeing two of Bruce’s friends in the media defend him in every way possible, there was a few interesting snippets, with him discussing Graeme Jones’ arrival – insisting that it was HIS appointment after travelling down to London to interview the former Belgian assistant in person.
Bruce also discussed the Saudi takeover, Mike Ashley’s support and eagerness to sell, his future at the club – insisting he’s too young to retire – fan criticism, Callum Wilson’s Euro 2020 hopes and Joe Willock’s superb form in front of goal.
Here’s what he had to say on all of the above.
Bruce on the Saudi takeover situation:
“The takeover. We were all disappointed and no more so than Mike.
“We were selling to the Saudi people that would generate the income of the likes of Man City so what supporter wouldn’t like to see that?
“Until that happens I will do the best I possibly can for the club. It is no secret Mike wants to sell the club and for everybody that is the best thing.”
Bruce on Mike Ashley’s support:
“I have regular contact with Lee the CEO but when we have been up against it Mike has been steadfast in his support and as a manager you need that.
“It is not easy but a bit of experience helps you in that situation.”
Bruce on his future:
“Well that is for for others…there’s big discussions to be had like most clubs.
“Most clubs will have discussions and review the season. I am a football person and it is still too early to retire.
“But all of those conversations will happen over the next few weeks I’m sure.”
Bruce on criticism and fan expectation:
“Certain journalists who have been on your show didn’t want me here from day one.
“You have to accept criticism, it is part and parcel of it, but I think at times it has been unjust.
“We’d love to be like Liverpool and Man City…free flowing and open…you know, we’ll go to Man City and say ‘come on, let’s take you on’, but you’ve got to find a way and be a bit pragmatic.
“I make no excuse, sometimes we have to be [pragmatic].
“I have always said to try and judge me when I have a fit squad.
“Newcastle in the last 14/15 years have been in the bottom half of the Premier League.
“We would all love to see Newcastle being back to signing the Alan Shearers of this world for world record fees but that just isn’t going to happen.
“It is difficult about the expectation that is still there.”
Bruce on Callum Wilson’s EURO 2020 hopes:
“He offers something different.
“He plays on the shoulder and if the big teams push up and play a high line you are running a risk with him.
“I am going to be biased but I certainly would take him.”
Bruce on Joe Willock’s future:
“I think we would all love to make it (permanent). He has five goals since the turn of the year but we have to respect he is Arsenal’s player.
“If there is a possibility of bringing him back I would love to do it.”