Steve Bruce says he is unlikely to be a manager at another club, having left Newcastle by ‘mutual consent’.
As had been widely expected following the Saudi-led takeover almost a fortnight ago, the former Manchester United captain has departed on the back of his 1000th professional match in charge of a club, a 3-2 Premier League defeat to Tottenham.
The club are second from bottom in the table, with no wins from eight matches so far this season.
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In an remarkably honest interview with the Telegraph, Bruce has opened up about how tough it has been to deal with the criticism of his two-year spell at St James’ Park, especially as a boyhood supporter. He admits he may never be back in the dugout.
“I think this might be my last job,” said Bruce. “It’s not just about me; it’s taken its toll on my whole family because they are all Geordies and I can’t ignore that.
“They have been worried about me… especially my wife Jan. What an amazing woman she is, incredible, she’s just a fantastic woman, wife and mother and grandmother. She dealt with the death of my parents, hers have not been very well. And then she had me to worry about and what I’ve been going through the last couple of years.
I’m 60 years old and I don’t know if I want to put her through it again. We’ve got a good life so, yeah, this will probably be me done as a manager - until I get a phone call from a chairman somewhere asking if I can give them a hand. Never say never, I’ve learnt that.
Bruce landed his dream job in 2019, taking control of a club he had snuck in to watch as a boy. But his previous association with Sunderland, and his underwhelming record in the couple of years leading up to his appointment, meant he was never truly accepted by supporters, who always linked him with the previous regime under Mike Ashley.
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“By the time I got to Newcastle, I thought I could handle everything thrown at me but it has been very, very tough.
To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage head or whatever. And it was from day one.
“When we were doing ok results wise, it was ‘yeah but the style of football is rubbish’ or I was just ‘lucky.’ It was ridiculous and persistent, even when the results were good.
“I tried to enjoy it and, you know, I did. I’ve always enjoyed the fight, proving people wrong, but that’s all it ever seemed to be. A fight, a battle. It does take its toll because even when you win a game, you don’t feel like you are winning over the supporters."
“I wanted so badly to make it work. I was so proud to be manager of Newcastle United, even in the dark times, I was determined to keep going and to keep this club in the Premier League.
“People told me to quit and if it hadn’t been Newcastle… I refused to give up. I just felt who could come in who was going to be better equipped to keep them up again than me?
"I’m really happy for the fans, the city, everyone associated with this great club. “This takeover had to happen for the club to improve.”
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