Bent: Bruce has done ‘OK’ despite Newcastle being ‘one-dimensional’
Darren Bent has suggested that Steve Bruce is doing an okay job at Newcastle even if there concerns over “unity” in the squad at the moment.
Bruce left his role at Sheffield Wednesday in July 2019 to take over at Newcastle United. The Magpies ended with 44 points last season as they finished 13th in the Premier League.
Newcastle started the season strongly but they have been on a poor run of form since their 5-2 loss to Leeds United in December. They have won just two of their previous 20 games in all competitions.
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This run leaves them just three points above the bottom three. But they do have a game in hand over Fulham who sit 18th.
Bent told talkSPORT, as cited by the Sunderland Echo, that there is a bit of “reservedness” with Newcastle currently:
“It’s fairly normal during an international break to get this amount of time off. They do need to get away.
“The biggest concern is unity because it looks like there so many whispers are coming out of that dressing room, so that just tells you that a lot of the players aren’t playing for Steve.
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“For Bruce himself, what he’s having to endure people hammering him from outside and getting stick from people up there. If it were me, I would have to resign, just for health reasons.
“I think for himself because it can’t be good that every time he picks up a newspaper… he probably doesn’t even do that anymore.
“I lived up there, it’s 24 hours a day football, football football. I was in Sunderland so I was out a little bit. In Newcastle, they love that football club more than anything – that is their life up there and the fact that he’s taking so much stick – it’s difficult.
“For me, he’s done an OK job but the Newcastle fans I certainly speak to have got a problem with the way they’re playing the game.
“They think they’ve got players there that are good enough to play a different expensive game but they’re not doing that. There is a bit of reservedness, it’s a bit flat and It’s a bit one-dimensional.
“People are going hammer him ‘why have you given them two days off?’ He gives you six days off and he’s getting hammered for that.
“At the minute, he can’t win. The kind of good thing for Newcastle you’d have to say is (survival) it’s still in their own hands.”