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West Brom boss Steve Bruce reveals stance on Newcastle fans after sour exit

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West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Bruce has said that Newcastle United fans deserve the upturn in fortunes they have had under Eddie Howe but hopes they change their mind on him in the years to come. 

Bruce left then-Championship club Sheffield Wednesday to replace Rafa Benitez at St James’ Park in July 2019 but by the end of his two-year tenure, which saw him take charge of 97 games, his relationship with much of the North East club’s fanbase had turned sour.

The 61-year-old was sacked following the completion of the Saudi Arabian-led takeover back in October and has since been installed as West Brom boss while his replacement, Howe, has helped turn fortunes around at Newcastle.

Speaking to Four Four Two, Bruce issued his verdict on the strong start his successor has enjoyed and the Magpies fans.

He said: “Eddie has had a lot more money to spend than I ever did, but he’s brought in some good players and improved the team. I’m very happy to acknowledge that, because Newcastle and the fans deserve the success.

“I worked there at a time when everyone was talking about a potential takeover, and will it or won’t it happen. The club needed new owners to come in to re-energise it, and I always knew that if it came during my watch, I probably wouldn’t be hanging around for too long.

“I just hope that a few years down the line, some of those supporters who never wanted me will look back at my time in charge and say, ‘Under the circumstances, Brucey didn’t do too bad a job after all’.”

Newcastle were one place above the bottom of the Premier League table and yet to win a game when Bruce departed but have finished the 2021/22 campaign in 11th – though there can be no illusions that the money Howe has been allowed to spend during a busy January transfer window has played a prominent role in the newfound success.

24 Newcastle United quiz questions about their time in the EFL – Can you score 100%?

1 of 24

Since it was rebranded as the Championship, how many seasons have Newcastle played in the second-tier?

The Verdict

There’s no denying that Bruce’s relationship had seriously deteriorated with Newcastle fans before his sour exit but some of the abuse he received from them was unacceptable.

That’s not to say their frustrations were unfounded, however, and judging from his comments you feel the former Magpies boss accepts that.

Whether his hopes for that shift in the mindset of the Newcastle supporters that disliked him will come remains to be seen.

It will be very interesting to see what sort of reception he gets from St James Park should he return in the future – with West Brom or anyone else.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: West Brom boss Steve Bruce reveals stance on Newcastle fans after sour exit

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