Former England international Danny Mills has claimed that Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce is caught in a ‘catch-22’ situation.
Magpies midfielder Isaac Hayden could be seen appearing to tell Bruce that his tactics weren’t working during Saturday’s goalless draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at a sparsely-attended St James’ Park. Sky Sports pundit Mills feels that’s a big worry.
“Without a doubt,” he told Football Insider when asked if that incident was a concern. “It’s a difficult situation at Newcastle. Steve Bruce [is] under a lot of pressure. Many of the fans didn’t turn up, it’s that catch-22 situation, if the fans don’t turn up, does that cost them?
“What was it, 65, 70 per cent possession to Brighton and they couldn’t score? That’s dismal for the home side, that really is poor.”
There’s no doubt that Bruce is under plenty of pressure at St James’ Park, he has been from day one. He wasn’t a popular appointment and the club in general isn’t popular with the supporters at the moment, we saw that on Saturday. You do wonder if the lack of fans affects the performances of the Newcastle players when they are at home, but that’s not really something we can quantify. That’s not the reason they were played off the park by Brighton last time out, it’s just that Graham Potter’s side were the better team, even if they couldn’t convert that into three points. Is Mills saying it’s a catch-22 for the fans or for Bruce? It’s not really clear. Either way, the supporters are clearly eager for change. They are attempting to hit owner Mike Ashley were it hurts: his pockets. The hope is then that he will hasten to sell the club because it has ceased to be profitable for him. We’ll see whether that works, but certainly the fans need to stick with it.