One thing we noticed yesterday was that St James Park had a lot of empty seats. In fact, it was not our eyes deceiving us as yesterday’s official attendance was 44,157.
Attendance: 44,157 #nufc
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) August 31, 2019
That attendance is the lowest since December 3, 2012 when we broke a long winless streak by defeating Wigan 3-0, with an early Demba Ba brace followed by a second-half goal by Gael Bigirimana. The attendance that day was 43,858.
Steve Bruce was asked about the low attendance yesterday, and the Chronicle has published his response:
“Look, all I can do is try to get on with my job.
“We can never take for granted the support this great club has got.
“All I can do is just hopefully going onwards and upwards with the team and the supporters, I’m sure they’ll be back when we win a few games.”
“What are we? One point behind Chelsea and one point behind Manchester United or something, is it?
“There you go, it hasn’t been such a bad start after all.”
We are glad that Steve Bruce will not take the support for granted. It is something that should never be underestimated. While a crowd of this size will do little to affect Ashley, it is a sign of a fed-up fanbase.
All Steve Bruce can do is his job. He is right that if he can get the team to win consistently, then the crowd size will go back up.
While it was a tough start to the season with games against Arsenal and away to Tottenham, four points from twelve is a bit underwhelming. It is by no means a bad start, but it’s not going to be enough to tempt some fans back just yet.
What the team have shown over these first five games, including the cup, is that they are Premier League quality. They should have enough about them to stay in the league fairly comfortably.
That is where the problem lies for many fans. It would be mission accomplished for Mike Ashley to finish where we currently lie in 14th place.
Some fans want more and just don’t see that happening under this owner. So they have decided to stay away. If Bruce can over-perform and have the team solidly in the top ten, that may help to change some minds. The jury is still out on this season, and results will be the deciding factor for most.