John Hartson has claimed that Mike Ashley could hit the panic button if Newcastle United are struggling in the Premier League.
The pundit, seen on BT Sport Score, believes that Steve Bruce may be given until January to prove his worth at the helm of the Magpies and that his job could come under threat should they be near the relegation zone in that period.
Hartson did heap praise on Bruce though, and lauded the former Sunderland man for his honesty, claiming his squad of players now need to step up and be counted after the international break.
“I know Steve, he’s a really really top bloke, says it like it is, doesn’t make excuses, he’s honest, he just needs his players now to step up and to give it everything,” he told Football FanCast.
“I think Bruce will get a bit more time, another three or four months until January. If Newcastle are rock bottom or in the bottom three then Mike Ashley might decide to do something and panic.”
It would be simply ridiculous to not give Bruce a longer spell than half a season at Newcastle. Ashley needs to weigh up his options and realise that there aren’t many better candidates for the role right now, and with the resources the Magpies’ boss has, he is doing a more than satisfactory job. When Bruce arrived at the club, the fans were planning boycotts, and the club had just sold their two top scorers from last season in Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon. Yes, Ashley did put some of that money back into transfers for Bruce, but he wasn’t exactly given the budget of Manchester City. With the players he has at his disposal, he has already secured wins against Tottenham and Manchester United this season, and if his side can continue picking up points from wherever possible, they will be more than safe in the top-flight. Bruce has already proved that he is capable of making big decisions to help his side win games, and Ashley would be wrong to even consider cutting ties with his manager as early as January.