27th November 2020

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Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has Mike Ashley’s backing despite supporter anger after Chelsea loss

Steve Bruce is under pressure after Newcastle United's 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at St. James' Park

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce ‘has owner Mike Ashley’s backing’ despite fan anger at the team’s style of play after being dominated by Chelsea

  • Mike Ashley backs Steve Bruce despite no evidence of improving performances 
  • Newcastle have taken the third-fewest shots in the league this term and are 15th 
  • #BruceOut was trending on Tyneside after Chelsea dominated at St. James’ Park

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has received the full backing of owner Mike Ashley despite the supporters’ growing unhappiness at performances and results. 

The Magpies are 15th in the Premier League having taken 11 points from their first nine games, but Saturday’s listless 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea was yet another example of Bruce’s men failing to create chances, as they managed just one shot on target and had just 29% possession against Frank Lampard‘s men, who would have won far more handsomely were it not for the brilliant Karl Darlow and some wayward finishing from Timo Werner.  

They were dominated in similar fashion by surprise high-flyers Southampton the weekend before and despite Bruce last season matching the club’s 13th-placed finish in 2018-19 under Rafael Benitez, discontent is building on Tyneside over the team’s defensive style of play. 

Steve Bruce is under pressure after Newcastle United’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at St. James’ Park

Crucially though, he retains the backing of Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley after the transfer budget was slashed, according to Telegraph Sport, despite #BruceOut trending on Tyneside in the wake of the Chelsea defeat.  

Only Crystal Palace and Burnley have taken fewer shots this season, with Callum Wilson, unavailable against the Blues due to injury, the team’s only consistent goalscoring outlet. 

Indeed, Wilson’s former Bournemouth teammate Ryan Fraser was the only other attacking player brought in over the summer. The Scotsman is currently out with a thigh injury.  

Callum Wilson is the team's only real goal threat after joining from Bournemouth this summer

Callum Wilson is the team’s only real goal threat after joining from Bournemouth this summer

Bruce, while saying in the summer that he was looking to make the team easier on the eye, has in recent weeks talked up the defensively stout but unambitious style that has left the fanbase so cold for most of his tenure. 

Newcastle have a winnable list of fixtures coming up, with home matches against West Bromwich Albion and Fulham in December as well as trips to Leeds United and Brentford next month in the Premier League and Carabao Cup respectively. 

There have been unusually been no Premier League bosses given the boot so far this season, and Bruce is unlikely to be the first. 


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