Search icon


17th Oct 2021

Steve Bruce’s son hits back at Newcastle manager’s “disrespectful” critics

Simon Lloyd

He’s never had the opportunity at managing a club who can go and spend proper money”

Steve Bruce’s son Alex has hit back at the criticism of his father’s managerial career as Newcastle prepare for their first game under new ownership on Sunday afternoon.

The game against Tottenham will be the 1,000th Bruce has overseen as a manager and the first since the Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle was finalised.

The completion of the deal was swiftly followed by speculation that the 60-year-old would be dismissed as manager, with the likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Lucien Favre linked with replacing him.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily podcast, Alex Bruce blasted those who have criticised his father throughout his tenure in charge at St. James’ Park.

“Since he took the job, I think the lack of respect that has been shown, considering he’s done 1,000 games, has been unbelievable,” he said.

“A lot of things have been said about my dad, and I feel a bit naff sticking up for him, but I would genuinely say for anyone who has done 999 games as a manager, 980-odd as a player, to see certain individuals question his integrity, his professionalism, his ability as a manager, questioning things like his warm-ups, his substitutions… they all make mistakes, but has he not deserved a crack?

He’s never had the opportunity at managing a club who can go and spend proper money. He’s managed teams in the Premier League like Wigan, Birmingham, Hull City… his win ratio in the Premier League has been questioned umpteen times – do people really expect massive win percentages when you’re managing clubs like that?

“I don’t think so. I think when you’re a level-headed and intelligent person, you look at the bigger picture. I think he’s done a very good job at all the clubs he’s managed, and I think he deserves a crack. Some of the disrespect he’s been shown has been hard to watch.”

Alex Bruce, a former defender with Hull City and Leeds United, added that his father was fully aware that he would be unpopular from day one in the job at Newcastle, where he replaced Rafa Benitez two years ago.

“He knew that was going to be the case from the day he took the job,” Bruce Jnr. said. “He had an owner who was trying to sell the club, he had an owner who didn’t really want to put any money of his own into the club for a number of reasons, he could only use the money that the club generated and with the pandemic there wasn’t any money there.

“He tried to strengthen the squad in the last window. They desperately needed reinforcements in defensive areas, I think he was very frustrated he couldn’t do that, so there’s been a number of things that have made the job difficult.

“He has been the fall guy. The amount of times I’ve said to him ‘why don’t you let someone else do the press?’ and he just says ‘because I’m the manager, it’s my responsibility’.”

Related links: