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Rival boss predicts Steve Bruce will do just as well at Newcastle as he did at Sheffield Wednesday

1 year ago

Steve Bruce is someone who has ‘had a lot of success and he’ll understand the challenge that lies ahead.’

Also ‘He has well-drilled sides that are competitive with quality – he turned Sheffield Wednesday around really impressively and I think he’ll have the same impact at Newcastle as well.’

Those are the views of Graham Potter ahead of the game on Saturday at St James Park.

The Brighton boss has made great strides in his own managerial career at a young age.

At only 35, he took the brave step of starting his career as a manager at Ostersund, a club then in the fourth tier of Swedish football.

However, Potter managed them to three promotions, won the cup in Sweden and took Ostersund all the way to the Europa League knockout stage.

Then impressing last season at Swansea, Brighton then gave him his chance in the Premier League.

When people ask where are the promising young English managers, can 44 year old Graham Potter prove himself to be one?

He certainly plays enterprising pressing attacking football and looks to be adding something different to the Premier League.

In contrast, fair to say that most Newcastle fans were devastated when not only did they lose Rafa Benitez but then Mike Ashley appointed Steve Bruce. Somebody who no other Premier League club would have considered but Ashley desperate to return to his preferred model of having a patsy head coach who has no authority beyond picking the team.

If Rafa was going to go and it wasn’t possible to appoint a replacement with a very good Premier League CV, then the very lowest expectation was that a young up and coming manager would be brought in.

Only Bryan Robson has a worse Premier League record than Steve Bruce, of those to have managed 250 PL games.

Graham Potter points to Steve Bruce doing well at Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship in the brief time he was there and that is the problem Newcastle fans have. Bruce has shown he can usually do a decent job in the second tier (although he was a disaster at Aston Villa) but has shown nothing at all to suggest he is a Premier League manager. The fact he has spent almost all of the last decade in the second tier backs that up.

So we have the ageing English dinosaur head coach against the up and coming young English manager, a contrast of styles and here’s hoping the dinosaur has the answers.

Graham Potter at his pre-Newcastle press conference:

“Newcastle away is a tough game just like all the others, we don’t target particular matches – it’s about what we need to do to get a positive result.

“They have an experienced manager who I came across last year and he’s someone I have a lot of respect for.

“They have good quality players and we know it can be a hostile environment, it’s a big club and we know we have to play well to get something.

“Steve Bruce has a lot of games under his belt – he’s had a lot of success and he’ll understand the challenge that lies ahead.

“He has well-drilled sides that are competitive with quality – Steve Bruce turned Sheffield Wednesday around really impressively and I think he’ll have the same impact at Newcastle as well.

“Playing out from the back on its own doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll concede goals, you can kick it long and concede them.

“You have to just always do the best you can no matter what you decide to do, football is a game of mistakes and they will always happen.

“You have to be able to mix your game up and try different things, it’s not fundamental in terms of saying everyone should play in a certain way, it’s about doing the right thing at the right time.

“There has to be a collective reference, but the players will always be responsible for the decisions they take on the pitch because they’re the ones who are out there doing it.

“Collectively you have to have an understanding of what you’re trying to do, and there should always be options to the player in possession for the decision they then make.”


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