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Neil Redfearn says Steve Bruce was a great Newcastle United appointment and he was only ‘holding the fort’

5 months ago
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Neil Redfearn had a short but very eventful time at Newcastle United.

The former Leeds boss appointed as boss on NUFC’s Under 23s in June 2019.

Within weeks though he found himself preparing the Newcastle United first team squad for the new season after Mike Ashley forced Rafa Benitez out.

Neil Redfearn and Academy boss Ben Dawson then still in charge when the first team squad flew off to China for the pre-season tournament.

During that tournament, Steve Bruce was appointed and flew out with his backroom staff (pictured above) to take over.

However, Neil Redfearn was only to last a few more months at Newcastle, as he resigned in November 2019

had only been in the job for five months and the club have given no indication as to why he has gone citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ within the structure of the coaching environment.

Reports said he he had been at odds with a younger coach (newspapers naming him as Liam Bramley) who had been recently appointed by Academy boss Ben Dawson as Redfearn’s assistant. The club then officially confirmed that Neil Redfearn had left.

Five months after leaving, Neil Redfearn has been reflecting on his brief but eventful time at Newcastle.

He loved his time working with the NUFC first team squad but believes Newcastle United made the right choice as Rafa’s permanent replacement: ‘Steve Bruce was a great appointment for me. I’ve always been a fan of Bruce and the team he has around him, and they’ve done a good job there.’

Neil Redfearn is now looking for a new job and says he is targeting clubs with struggling academies.

Neil Redfearn talking to the Yorkshire Post:

“I had been (Newcastle United under-23s) head coach for a week when they said I’d have to go to Edinburgh and get a visa because I might have to take the first team in China (where they were going to play in the pre-season Premier League Asia Trophy).

“Soon after Rafa announced he was going.

“The lads at Newcastle were brilliant.

“They were uncertain times but they’d got to do their pre-season work anyway and they were such good professionals who listened and did as they were told. They were an absolute pleasure to work with. It was a good experience and a good tournament for us. We took a walloping off Wolves in the first game but we beat West Ham.”

“Steve Bruce was a great appointment for me.

“I’ve always been a fan of Bruce and the team he has around him, and they’ve done a good job there.

“We were just holding the fort and I think the supporters knew that.

“I’ve done quite a bit of work for Talk Sport over the last few years but I still want to get back on the grass because I still enjoy the coaching side of it and I still think I’ve got a lot to give.

“I’ve been doing my background work into some of the under-performing academies where there might be a vacancy coming up but that’s the nature of football, unfortunately.

“It’s a great feeling playing professional football in front of a crowd and now I love seeing players get on in the game and spending time on the grass. If I was going to be a manager, I was always going to be a tracksuit manager.”

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