EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle and assistant manager Graeme Jones involved in training ground clash with captain Jamaal Lascelles, forced to split as tempers flare
- Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle involved in feud with assistant manager Graeme Jones
- Showdown on the training field had to be aborted by captain Jamaal Lascelles
- A source told Sportsmail that both men said to each other: ‘It’s always about you’
- Incident comes after team meeting where Steve Bruce angered some players
- Bruce says it’s ‘not in my nature to run away’ as the pressure at work mounts
Newcastle assistant boss Graeme Jones and striker Dwight Gayle were involved in a showdown on the training ground this week, with captain Jamaal Lascelles forced to intervene after tempers flared.
The club’s Tyneside base has been a fiery environment in recent days amid growing dissatisfaction among some players over manager Steve Bruce, who insisted on Thursday he would not stop despite fans calling for him to leave.
Sources close to the players say they remain united as a team and are determined to take their first win of the season at home against Leeds United on Friday night, even though Bruce is deeply frustrated.
Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle (left) got into a fight with assistant boss Graeme Jones (right)
The failure on the training ground had to be aborted by club captain Jamal Lascelles (above)
That was made clear on Tuesday when the 60-year-old called a meeting, only to anger some players over what they believe was his misguided use of running stats. There is also a sense that the training schedule was designed for Bruce, not the team.
Later, there was an ill-tempered exchange between Gayle and Jones, who was part of the England coaching staff at Euro 2020. Gayle is frustrated at not playing despite signing a new contract and training well lately.
A source said: ‘There was a confrontation after a disagreement. Jones said, “It’s always about you, Gayley.” Dwight didn’t feel like it and said “It’s all about you since you’ve been with England”. Jamaal had to come between them.
“This can happen between players, but when management is involved, it’s never a good sign.
Gayle told Jones: ‘It’s all about you since you’ve been with England’ during the incident
‘This came after the morning meeting that did not go down well with some. They said, “What is he (Bruce) talking about?”‘
Bruce, whose side is 19th in the Premier League, was asked on Thursday whether he would walk away if fan opposition continued.
“It’s not in my nature to run from something when I’m in a fight,” he said. ‘I’d be sick if I said I liked it (fan chants). But the frustration is that if you don’t get results, the manager will be the victim. I have to accept that the results have not been good enough.’
Goalkeeper Karl Darlow returned to Newcastle’s squad last Saturday and could replace Freddie Woodman against Leeds. Winger Ryan Fraser is also back in the fray after an ankle injury.