Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley ‘hooked their hopes’ on head coach Steve Bruce turning the fans around quickly, according to reliable journalist Mike Douglas.
The former Sheffield Wednesday boss was brought in as popular Spaniard Rafael Benitez’s replacement this summer, and Douglas believes the Magpies bosses were hoping the fans’ anger at the appointment would soon be reversed.
“Bruce is not close to the brink – not even close yet – but his tenure can’t survive many more afternoons like Sundays deeply dispiriting and worrying loss at Leicester,” Douglas wrote on The Chronicle website.
“Contrary to belief he is not bullet proof but Newcastle recognise that he inherited a difficult situation in the summer and believe a fuller picture of his capabilities will be presented when he has key players back and is able to deploy key man Allan Saint-Maximin in his starting XI.
“There is another factor at play though: Charnley and Mike Ashley hooked their hopes on Bruce to prove the doubters wrong and a swift dismissal would be an expensive admission of defeat. For a club more inclined to hunker down and ignore outside noises, an autumn change in the dug-out would be bucking a trend.”
That last paragraph would appear to be the key for any Newcastle supporters hoping for a swift dismissal for Bruce. Ashley and Charnley made their decision on Bruce knowing that he would be an unpopular appointment, so they are surely going to give him every opportunity to prove that he is the right man for the job. They were obviously confident that he would be able to turn the fans around quickly, but so far that hasn’t been the case. Clearly he’s not close to being sacked yet, Douglas says that explicitly here. However, he does concede that he is not bullet proof. It basically seems that there is a realisation at the club that they are not in a good moment. However, the line about having key players back fit – particularly Saint-Maximin – is worrying. There aren’t THAT many players out injured, while Saint-Maximin was only brought in this summer. So how key can he be without having done anything for the club yet? That’s a lot of weight to put on the Frenchman’s shoulders.