What’s the story?
The quarter-final exit came just days after an uninspiring draw at home with 10-man Fulham – a game in which the Magpies amassed an xG of just 0.09 in 30 minutes against Scott Parker’s depleted side – and the calls for his sacking were something Bruce confronted in his post-match conference.
What’s the update?
Edwards also criticised the performance but did reveal the 59-year-old would not be sacked though hinted he was in ‘a lot of bother’, though it’s unclear as to whether or not that comes from those above him.
Previous reports from the Daily Mail suggested Mike Ashley was sticking by his 2019 appointment amid problems earlier in the season and, with Newcastle currently eight points above the relegation zone, it’s easy to see his logic. That may be frustrating from a fan perspective but with Ashley rarely putting much of an importance on cup competitions during his 13 years in ownership, it’s hard to see this result in isolation changing his mind.
We shouldn’t be surprised.
Ashley has only officially sacked three full-time managers since Sam Allardyce in 2008 (Chris Hughton and Steve McClaren join the current West Bromwich Albion boss in that regard) and Newcastle are currently not in a relegation scrap. Those are the facts, even if recent performances and signs of recovery from some of those currently battling the drop do at least suggest safety is far from certain.
Though Newcastle are showing little sign of improving, Bruce looks relatively comfortable in his job.