Charlie Nicholas has claimed that Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is doing a better job than Rafael Benitez did at St James’ Park.
The Sky Sports pundit admitted that Bruce has brought passion back to the club at the beginning of the season, something which is helping his side nick points from games.
Nicholas made the comments on Bruce whilst predicting the Magpies’ upcoming trip to face Sheffield United on Thursday night, a game in which he expects them to pick up a point from at Bramall Lane.
“Newcastle are a similar sort of side,” he wrote on his Sky Sports prediction blog.
“They are very impressive away from home but lack a bit of the cutting edge. Steve Bruce has brought the passion back, and they are nicking points here and there. I think the Newcastle fans are accepting what Bruce can do with a fairly average bunch. He is doing a much better job than what Rafael Benitez did.
“Bruce is clever, he is going back to Sheffield where he will get plenty of abuse but he will have his players pumped up. If their shape is good, the counter-attack will be a strong weapon for them.”
Nicholas predicted that the clash in South Yorkshire will finish 1-1, with Bruce returning to Sheffield after leaving Wednesday in the summer to take over in the North East.
It takes a brave man to suggest that Bruce is already doing a better job than Benitez – a manager that all Magpies’ fans protested for when the club was unable to negotiate a suitable new contract for in the summer. Bruce came in and the majority of St James’ Park was left fuming with the decision to bring in a Championship manager for a Champions League winner. Fast forward to December though, and things aren’t looking too bad right now, with Bruce having guided his side to a number of impressive results. The recent 2-2 draw with Manchester City epitomised everything that Bruce has brought to the club, and there will certainly be few complaints with what they are seeing from their side at this moment in time in the Premier League. It’s too early to suggest what Bruce will be able to achieve, but the signs on show are very positive for the future.