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Steve Bruce DEFENDS his track record as a Newcastle boss compared to Rafa Benitez

Steve Bruce DEFENDS his track record as Newcastle boss and claims even the ‘mighty Rafa Benitez’ couldn’t do better than last season at St James’ Park

  • Steve Bruce is currently under increasing pressure from Newcastle supporters
  • The Magpies have played seven games without a win in all competitions
  • Still, Bruce compared his track record to former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez
  • Bruce finished just one point behind Benitez’s points total in the competition last year

Steve Bruce says even the ‘mighty Rafa Benitez’ couldn’t do better than last season in Newcastle.

The head coach was asked on Friday if it was possible for a manager to be successful under Mike Ashley, after experts like Alan Shearer and Gary Neville recently said the owner was the biggest problem at the club.

Bruce said, “I would ask the question, what do you consider success? I estimate the success last year as matching Rafa’s points (Bruce’s team finished one point less at 44).

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce defended his record and compared his points count to Rafa Benitez

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce defended his record, comparing his points count to Rafa Benitez

Benitez finished 10th and 13th during the two seasons that he led Newcastle in the league

Benitez finished 10th and 13th during the two seasons that he led Newcastle in the league

Benitez finished 10th and 13th during the two seasons that he led Newcastle in the league

Rafa, who I’ve obviously heard a lot about and who I have the greatest respect for, like you (reporters), where did he end? He was a world class manager. Where did he finish (10th and 13th)? Is that a success?

‘Last year we matched up with the mighty Rafa. We are in the bottom half of the Premier League and have been there for almost 15 years.

‘What’s realistic for where we are? Is that realistic between the 11th and the 16th? Can we aim for the top 10? We are three, four points behind (currently eight points). Would that be an achievement? In my opinion it probably is. ‘

The Magpies are currently 15th in the Premier League after seven games without a win and Bruce is under pressure from supporters but thinks he can change the situation.

“I’ve played nearly 500 Premier League games so it’s no coincidence I’m still here,” he said. ‘I have the equipment to handle anything that comes my way. I am quietly convinced that we will stay up.

Bruce's team has not won seven games and the manager is under pressure from fans

Bruce's team has not won seven games and the manager is under pressure from fans

Bruce’s team has not won seven games and the manager is under pressure from fans

“We did it quite comfortably last year, so we know this group of players is capable. We’ve had a rough time, but that has a lot to do with illness and injury over the past six weeks.

‘We’ve had a really tough time – and if you’re going through a rough time, you have to put up with the criticism.

“It’s a demanding competition, but all you have to do is keep that bit of dignity and do your best to help yourself through it.”

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