Steve Bruce has had a much better week after the win against Manchester United. His young midfielder Matty Longstaff’s goal has lifted the dark clouds surrounding the club slightly this week.
The win pulled Newcastle out of the relegation zone. For the moment at least, talks of Steve Bruce being sacked have died down some. Getting three points tends to do that.
However, former Celtic striker John Hartson and current pundit BT Sport has spoken about Steve Bruce’s position recently.
The subject of what it will take for Mike Ashly to move on from Bruce was broached. This is what Hartson had to say:
“I know Steve, he’s a really really top bloke, says it like it is, doesn’t make excuses, he’s honest, he just needs his players now to step up and to give it everything.
“I think Bruce will get a bit more time, another three or four months until January. If Newcastle are rock bottom or in the bottom three then Mike Ashley might decide to do something and panic.
“But he’ll get the next three or four months to try and get Newcastle on some sort of run.”
Hartson’s comments seem to be the prevailing wisdom on Bruce’s job security. Mike Ashley has a history of holding on to the bitter end with his preferred managers. We agree that even if it does start to go downhill again, Bruce’s job is safe until at least January. Probably even longer than that.
There are other considerations for Mike Ashley this time around as Lee Ryder astutely pointed out in the week leading to the Manchester United win. This is what Ryder had to say a few weeks ago:
If Mike Ashley was to fire the head coach now it would be a vote of no confidence in the club’s own decision-making process.
They have just paid millions in compensation to secure his release from Sheff Wed and they’d have to pay out again if they terminated his three-year deal.
I honestly think that Bruce would have to be nine or 10 points adrift in the relegation zone before they decided to hit the panic button.
If Newcastle stay up and get more players in this January, it will probably be deemed as laying the foundations for the new manager.
Our fears a few weeks ago of a third straight horror show of a performance was thankfully laid to rest by the Manchester United win. However, this team have been down this road before.
After the Tottenham win, Newcastle had a very disappointing draw against bottom of the league Watford. Then came the first international break from which Newcastle returned with a decent performance against Liverpool. Though after that were the dreadful Brighton and Leicester displays.
We are midway through the second international break right now. Newcastle will return with an away match against Chelsea. Then they play in-form Wolves at St James Park before traveling to West Ham.
Bruce and the players must come back from this break in better form than last time. The next month should provide us a few more clues as to how this season is going to unfold.