"Who wouldn't want this job now going forward, the way it is, the way it looks in the future?" says Steve Bruce ahead of visit by Tottenham to St James' Park on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League with kick-off at 4.30pm
Saturday 16 October 2021 07:10, UK
Steve Bruce hit out at the media as Newcastle confirmed he will take charge of his 1,000th game as a manager in Sunday's Premier League match against Tottenham.
Bruce, 60, had been expected to be sacked this week following the club's £305m takeover earlier this month but instead he will lead the Magpies at St James' Park, live on Sky Sports, for the first match of the new Saudi-Arabian-led era.
New part-owner Amanda Staveley said Newcastle wanted to be "patient and considered" in their approach and that "change doesn't happen overnight".
Bruce criticised the media for their reporting on his future in his press conference on Friday.
"I hope you're feeling the heat from your bosses, because it hasn't happened has it - what you all wanted," he said. "Let's hope you're getting a bit of stick from the people who put you in charge.
"The information was wrong, wasn't it? So you haven't done your job properly."
He added: "I've tried to keep my respect and dignity, which has probably served me well over the last 20-odd years, and that will remain.
"It's been difficult, of course, but I hope you guys are getting a slap now from your bosses to say that you haven't done your job. Whoever your source was, whoever it was who was feeding you didn't get it right, so I hope you're feeling a bit of heat."
Newcastle are second bottom of the Premier League and without a win ahead of the competition's resumption following the international break.
Asked whether he was hopeful of proving to the new ownership he could remain in charge moving forward, Bruce said: "Who wouldn't want to try? I'm not going to give up the hope of it.
"Who wouldn't want this job now going forward, the way it is, the way it looks in the future? Who wouldn't want the opportunity to manage Newcastle?
"Certainly I would and I'm sure there are hundreds who'd want to do the same thing. There are exciting times ahead for the club, that's for sure."
A capacity 52,000 crowd is expected for the visit of Spurs this weekend after the end of Mike Ashley's 14-year reign was celebrated by Newcastle fans.
Bruce's future has remained a topic of intense debate and, speaking at his pre-match news conference, he remained defiant as he targeted the elusive first win of the campaign.
"It's not about me," he said. "It is about the club going forward, the team and more importantly getting the result on Sunday because there have been times this season where I think we have played very well.
"We need a win to get us moving up the table."
Earlier, Staveley said in a club statement: "We met Steve and the players on Monday and have given them the time and space this week to focus on preparing for what is a very important game on Sunday.
"Steve has been very professional in our dealings with him and he and his coaching team will take the team on Sunday.
"If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know but, in the meantime, we wish him the best of luck in his 1,000th match as a manager and will be joining you in getting right behind the team."
Bruce, who succeeded Rafael Benitez in July 2019, added the nature of his conversation with Staveley was "informal" and did not cover his future, rather focusing on the team's preparations.
Despite the optimism around the club following the takeover, a recent Newcastle United Supporters' Trust poll revealed that almost 95 per cent of fans wanted Bruce's dismissal.
"It will be some "ridiculous" atmosphere which we are all looking forward to," Bruce added. "Whatever they think of me, the most important for them is to see their team win a game.
"I know they will be right behind the team in an atmosphere I doubt we will have witnessed at St James' Park for a long time."
Bruce said he had not contemplated his future since the protracted takeover was announced on October 7 but admitted he had after finishing 12th in the Premier League last season - an improvement on 13th in his first season in charge.
"I thought after matching the previous manager (Rafael Benitez), can I take it forward, can I get any better than this, how do I take this club forward were the questions I asked myself," he said.
"But then I thought of my staff, everyone around and thought… it is still a great job."
The takeover, which makes Newcastle one of the richest clubs in the world, was 80 per cent financed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, whose chair is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Asked if he was concerned about Saudi Arabia's human rights record, Bruce said: "Look, as far as I'm concerned, I'm sure people will look into that. That's for politicians and all the rest of it to decide on that.
"It's a great thing for the club of Newcastle and for me, the city too. I've seen the transformation in Manchester - not just for the football club, but for the city too - and I hope for the area and for the people and the supporters that there are exciting times ahead."
Bruce will be inducted into the LMA 1000 Club and Hall of Fame when he becomes only the 34th manager in the modern era of English football to have reached the landmark of 1000 competitive matches.
He said: "From the very start of my managerial career I have always enjoyed working with my players every day and I thoroughly enjoy watching them develop and progress in their careers.
"It goes without saying that I have great appreciation for the coaching staff who have given me invaluable support over the past 23 years.
"It is very special for me to manage my 1000th match as Newcastle manager and join the 33 other members of the LMA Hall of Fame 1000 Club, which of course includes my former manager Sir Alex Ferguson and fellow Geordie Sir Bobby Robson."
LMA Board and 1000 Club member Sir Alex Ferguson said: "For me it was a certainty that Steve would become a manager.
"When he was playing for me at Manchester United, I observed that he always had a fantastic ability to communicate and motivate, both with his more experienced team-mates and with the younger players coming through.
"Steve has gained a wealth of experience from all of the clubs he has managed during his 1000 matches and, no matter the circumstances of the club he is managing, he shows great tenacity and maintains an enthusiasm and resilience which is not always an easy thing do."