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Steve Bruce tells Sky Sports that he takes Mauricio Pochettino as a warning

2 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce has pointed to Mauricio Pochettino as a great example/warning.

Five weeks before Mike Ashley gave him (Bruce) the Newcastle job, Mauricio Pochettino was managing Tottenham in the Champions League final.

As Steve Bruce now says: ‘If Mauricio Pochettino can get the sack then we all can because he did a wonderful job at Tottenham.’

In reality, Bruce is probably one of the safest managers/head coaches in the Premier League, considering the lengths Mike Ashley went to when making the bizarre appointment in the summer.

The first time ever that Ashley had paid compensation to get a manager or head coach and it being somebody no other Premier League club would ever have considered.

Steve Bruce tells Sky Sports that ‘Whether I’m ‘head coach’ or ‘manager’, it doesn’t bother me at all. What I know is that I’m in charge…’

As we all know with Mike Ashley, there is being ‘in charge’ and then there is ‘being in charge’…

A number of new Rafa Benitez interviews appeared at the weekend in the likes of the Times and Mail, where Rafa repeated that it was made impossible for him to continue at St James Park because he would have to accept new signings imposed on him, rather than the manager having the final say. Steve Bruce desperate enough to take the job to accept any conditions, as was the case in the past with the likes of Pardew, JFK, Carver and McClaren.

It took impending relegation for Mike Ashley to accept he finally had to sack McClaren and almost relegation from a seemingly impossible position for Carver to get the boot. With Steve Bruce it remains to be seen if Ashley is forced into any decision in the foreseeable future but winning games such as tonight at Aston Villa is one sure way to push that back further.

Steve Bruce talking to Sky Sports:

“I always knew it was going to be difficult [at Newcastle United].

“I always knew it was going to be a big challenge.

“Thankfully, my experiences over 20 years has put me in good stead. The only way you can respond to anything in football is through results.

“If Mauricio Pochettino can get the sack then we all can because he did a wonderful job at Tottenham.

“Jose’s back in what was a wonderful 24 hours in football, but when a great man like Pochettino loses his job, you do think, ‘wow, what an industry it is’.

“It felt like four years ago when we went to Shanghai [in a pre-season tour in July 2019] to take the first training session in sweltering conditions. Quietly, you just try to get on with the job as best as you can and try to ignore all the negativity surrounding you.

“My feelings were a mixture of excitement and a little bit of butterflies, because it was Newcastle [I was coming to]. I felt a bit guilty towards Sheffield Wednesday because they had treated me so well.

“But I couldn’t refuse it this time. I regretted the last time after Sir Bobby Robson [when Steve Bruce was allegedly offered the job in August 2004], but this time I had to take it.

“I’m a Newcastle lad, so to be manager is every Geordie’s dream.

“Now we’re called ‘head coach’, it’s not supposed to be the case. 

“Whether I’m ‘head coach’ or ‘manager’, it doesn’t bother me at all. What I know is that I’m in charge and it’s my neck on the line if things go wrong.

“For me, the best part is always the preparation for the games. Now, we’re fully focused on preparing for Aston Villa.

“That to me, is always the best part of it: going out onto the training ground even at my age.

“Watching and taking a group of players to get prepared, and that’s always the best part of being in charge. There are many sleepless nights, of course, but it gets better with experience.

The toughest part is losing, and when you come under the pump if you lose four or five. No matter who you are in management, you will come under scrutiny.

“If you’re at a big club like this one, or Aston Villa, you come under scrutiny very quickly.

“I don’t read social media at all, as that would be impossible for me. I try to even stay away from newspapers as well as it could influence you – that can not be a good thing.

“The biggest for all of us is our family. They’re the most important people, and they feel it when results aren’t going well.

“It influences them too, and they don’t like their father, or brother or husband being ridiculed.

My son can erupt at times and even he has to come off social media as he can have a crack back. It can affect them too so you really need decent stability around you, but it can sometimes be difficult.”

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