Steve Bruce has always maintained that taking the Newcastle head coach position under the current circumstances was going to be difficult.
From the start, he asked to be judged by results while also inferring that it could take some time for him to make his imprint on this squad.
While it is fair to eventually judge Steve on his performance, the skepticism surrounding his appointment was certainly justified.
However, Bruce will not convince any of his doubters through mere words. It will take wins and performances to turn most of the skeptics among us into believers.
Bruce, to his credit, seems to understand this. There have been a few moments where Steve Bruce has not helped himself in his press conferences. However, for the most part, he has shown awareness that it is up to him to prove he is up for this job.
So far, he has been able to get this team off to a decent start despite a challenging set of early fixtures. The Chronicle have published some of his comments about the start to the season:
“Make no mistake, I knew, early on, it was going to be difficult. I always knew that the start we had is equally more difficult.
“To calm the storm that everybody was riding at the time, getting a few results was the only way really.
“When I looked at the first five games, we’ve got three of the top six. We have got most of the top six in the first nine, so I knew it was going to be difficult.
“Can we go and get a couple more results? That’s got to be the aim and the only thing I’m really focused on and concentrating on because that’s the only thing I can affect.
“The only thing I can affect is on the training ground and making sure that they’re ready and capable and, of course, the result at Tottenham gave everyone a lift.”
Steve was certainly riding a storm after the Norwich display, and we were very concerned after that performance. We hadn’t seen an exhibition that hapless since the Steve McClaren days.
However, to his credit, Steve was able to get the lads focused for Tottenham and essentially pulled a u-turn with that result. Since then, there have been two admirable performances in the home matches against Leicester City and Watford.
Now Steve must get this squad ready for another difficult run of four games before the next international break comes in early October.
While this Saturday’s match at Liverpool is likely not to yield anything positive results-wise – though we thought the same about Spurs; the next three fixtures all represent decent opportunities to get some points on the board.
The match at St James Park against Brighton is a no-brainer, and anything other than three points will see the heat turned back up on Bruce. The following two matches – away to Leicester and at home against Manchester United – could go either way if the lads play up to their potential.
That is where Steve Bruce’s focus must be over the next few weeks. He needs to get points on the board to keep showing that the club is progressing.
Bruce spoke some more on getting results while making an odd admission about some of the criticism that has come his way:
“We had a good week. We played very well against Leicester – lost on penalties – and did OK against Watford. It’s a big occasion at the weekend coming up, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
“I only want what’s best for the club. I want to try and take the club forward, and the sickness in me has enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed the stick, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge.
“The more it piles on, the more I seem to enjoy. I hope it wanes a little bit but, in time, a few results will help.”
We are not sure that Steve Bruce should have admitted enjoying any of the stick he has been getting. We hope he can get some results before the next international break, or else he will find himself getting a lot more of the stick he claims to be enjoying.