What’s the story?
While there have been reports of a falling out between the manager and Matt Ritchie, as well as suggestions the situations of Karl Darlow and the Longstaff brothers have angered people at the club, this report claims that there are some players who are ‘fiercely loyal’ to him.
Is this a surprise?
In the context of this season, yes.
Still, while Bruce may have been found out tactically now, the likes of Jonjo Shelvey have talked his man-management skills up, even if that doesn’t appear to be doing much good at the moment.
A new deal for Ciaran Clark was also thought to have been pushed by Bruce, so perhaps he’s another to share a good relationship with the 60-year-old after establishing himself as a key figure under his watch.
David Ornstein did also recently suggest Bruce hasn’t yet lost the dressing room and, while some of the performances of late have been awful in terms of quality, it’s not as if Newcastle are being torn apart like they were towards the end of the Steve McClaren era.
That is by no means a defence of Bruce but – though there have been some obvious flashpoints – it certainly doesn’t seem as if the whole squad has turned on him despite a truly awful run of form. That might not necessarily be a good thing considering the position they have been over the last few months, but it does look to be the case.