Steve Bruce slams ‘lies’ of critic Michael Chopra after former Newcastle striker says senior players don’t know their jobs on the pitch
- Steve Bruce took charge of Newcastle after Rafa Benitez’s contract ran out
- After immediate disapproval from fans Bruce has lost two from two in the league
- Michael Chopra was critical this week of the methods of the coaching staff
- Bruce faces a tricky match away at Tottenham on Sunday afternoon
Steve Bruce says no other manager in the country is subject to the level of scrutiny he is under at Newcastle United and has hit back at the ‘lies’ after claims about his tactical preparation.
Former Magpies striker Michael Chopra said this week that some senior players have told him they do not know their jobs on the pitch.
It comes on the back of a woeful performance during last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Norwich, after which Bruce accused his players of ‘not putting their boots on’ and called them in for training on Sunday.
Steve Bruce is already under pressure at St James’ Park following two defeats out of two
Defender Paul Dummett then revealed that he sensed something was not right in the warm-up at Carrow Road, although Bruce insists this was nothing to do with his coaching staff.
It all adds up to another difficult week for the new boss, who takes his team to Spurs on Sunday.
But he came out fighting on Friday, and took aim for Chopra in particular.
‘I’m not taking notice of someone who’s played 20 games and scored one goal here,’ said Bruce.
‘Someone with a bit of credence, I can understand. When it’s complete lies, that’s when its disappointing.
Bruce hit out at Michael Chopra’s (pictured) claim that players did not know their jobs
‘I would expect him to be ignored. Who is he? It’s absolute lies and we all know why he’s on the radio. Newcastle legend who played 20 times for the club… Jesus. If it’s Alan Shearer ? Bring it on.
‘I’m just surprised that people pay any attention to him.’
Bruce added: ‘I never give up the fight for it, that’s in me. No-one else in the country would be under the spotlight that I feel as if I’m under at the minute. The last four or five weeks, it’s been relentless, hasn’t it?
‘After two games there’s a so-called mini-crisis. It is over-sensationalised. Everything seems to be that way.
‘But look, I understand that, it’s the nature of the club – it always has been. There’s always a storm in Newcastle and at the minute, we’re in one. The only way I can shut a few people up is by getting a couple of results.’
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Of Dummett’s comments, Bruce said: ‘My concern was we didn’t perform well enough, full stop. If the warm-up isn’t right, then come on – are we really going to analyse a warm-up? If we are, then we are in serious trouble. We can all warm-up badly can’t we?
‘The lads – Steve Agnew and Steve Clemence – have been taking warm-ups for 20 years. If we can’t take a warm-up… this just shows what we’re up against.’
It was pointed out to Bruce that the concerns raised were nothing to do with the mechanics of the warm-up, more that Dummett had suggested there was a mentality issue among the team before a ball had been kicked.
And Bruce admitted: ‘If they detected they weren’t right in the warm-up and then took it on the pitch then, of course, it’s a concern.’
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