Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is not planning to sack Steve Bruce despite the Magpies being just two points above the Premier League relegation zone after their 3-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday.
Bruce has long been unpopular with a section of the Newcastle supporters and calls for the 60-year-old to be sacked reached a crescendo overnight following the dismal showing on the south coast.
For the third time this season fans protested outside St James’ Park with banners following the defeat.
However, Sky Sports News has been told that Ashley intents to keep Bruce at the helm due to the manager’s loyalty to the owner and his passion for the club.
Ashley is downbeat at the manner of the performance at the Amex but expects manager and players alike to step up to the challenge in the coming weeks.
While Newcastle are just two points above 18th-placed Fulham, they do have a game in hand. However, the Magpies are in wretched form, with just two wins in their last 20 games in all competitions.
More to follow…
Bruce: I won’t quit
After the Brighton game, Bruce admitted his players were beaten by the better side and he took full responsibility for the defeat, but he refused to walk away from the club.
“I accept that wasn’t good enough tonight,” he said. “It rests at my door. I accept that and will see what develops, but I won’t give up.”
When asked if he believed remaining at the helm at St James’ Park was the best way forward, Bruce said: “Well, I believe that, I’ve been around the block a long time. That experience, (I’ve been) trying to draw on it over the last few weeks in particular.
“So as I’ve said, I’m not the type to just walk away from a bad defeat, but you’re going to have to ask others.”
Souness: Will Newcastle win another game?
Meanwhile, former Toon boss Souness was critical of the attitude of the Newcastle players, questioning whether they could win another game this season playing like that.
“Newcastle right now, every game is a big game for them, they don’t have any easy games left, the way they’re playing and the appetite they’re showing,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s worrying for them, and Steve Bruce knows that. You can lose one way, and you can lose by not having a go, and I think tonight, Bruce alluded to it, they went down without a fight, for me.
“The buck stops with the manager, guaranteed. I hate talking about managers losing their job, but I think under this owner they have, someone who is looking to sell the club, it is paramount that they stay in the Premier League. He won’t be looking at individuals, he won’t have any sympathy for individuals right now, he’ll be looking at his asset, what it is worth in the Premier League, and how attractive that is to potential buyers, compared to being in the Championship.
“I look at that group of players, and I wouldn’t be confident about them winning another game, if that’s their attitude tonight. They were going through the motions.
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