Reports claim a number of Newcastle players have demanded urgent talks with managing director Lee Charnley over the future of boss Steve Bruce.
Bruce cut a disconsolate figure after the Magpies were beaten 3-0 by Brighton on Saturday. The result plunges them further into the relegation mire as they sit just two points above 18th-placed Fulham.
And, with the Cottagers having found some form in recent weeks, things are not looking good for the Tynesiders. It seems as though a core of players felt Bruce could have been sacked after the Amex Stadium reverse.
Winger Ryan Fraser said “the mood is the lowest it’s been” and the club “need to save our season” after the game. But reports on Sunday morning suggested Bruce retains the backing of owner Mike Ashley.
Football Insider are reporting that a group of players have hatched a plan to speak to Charnley about the situation. It is thought the rebels will not demand that Bruce be sacked.
But they are seeking answers from the board as to how they can arrest the slide and maintain their top-flight status. The report claims members of the squad were “shocked” that Bruce had been backed by the club.
Many felt the 60-year-old would have been relieved of his duties by Sunday morning but he lives to fight on at St James’ Park. There has been no word on whether the meeting will actually take place or the timescale involved if it does.
But, if it turns out to be true, then the writing will surely be on the wall for Bruce. He might last for the rest of this season but if he has ‘lost the dressing room’ he cannot manage the players.
Ashley is thought to be showing loyalty to Bruce as the manager has done the same for the club. He took the reins after Rafa Benitez opted to jump ship.
While the Spaniard was an immensely popular boss, many fans felt Bruce was a huge step backwards. He used his experience to guide the north-east outfit to 13th in 2019-2020.
But they are currently clinging on to the Premier League by their fingernails. They have won just two of their last 20 games in all competitions.
And condemnation of Saturday’s display was universal, leading to thoughts that Bruce might be on his way.
Players now have a great deal of influence at clubs. But Ashley is known to be stubborn and if he wants Bruce in the dugout he will not be sacked – for now.
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