STEVE Bruce hits out at Toon fans and reveals he never felt wanted at Newcastle amid constant criticism and abuse.
When his sacking was announced, Bruce, 60, revealed in an interview with The Telegraph that the relentless abuse from Newcastle fans had taken its toll.
He said: “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.
“The best one was to be told we were a relegation team in all but points…this was all in the first season. We finished 13th. It got even worse in the second year. We finished 12th, 17 points clear of the bottom three.
“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.”
In his two full seasons in charge at St. James’ Park, Bruce guided Newcastle to 13th and 12th placed league finishes, avoiding relegation by more than ten points on both occasions.
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His first season in charge saw memorable wins over Spurs, Manchester United and Chelsea, but Bruce’s side still came under constant criticism for their style of play.
Newcastle are currently 19th in the Premier League after failing to win any of their opening eight games and have conceded 19 goals, the most of any side so far.
Bruce’s days as Toon boss seemed were seemingly numbered as soon as Newcastle’s £300m takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund was completed.
After Newcastle’s catastrophic start to the season, it was only a matter of time before they decided to make a managerial change, with a number of possible candidates linked to the job.
And after witnessing Newcastle’s struggles on the pitch first hand in their action-packed 3-2 defeat to Spurs on Sunday, the new owners decided to take action.
Bruce added in the interview: “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.”
But the Geordie has officially taken charge of his last game at Newcastle, his 1,000th as a manager, and suggested retirement may be on the horizon, revealing: “I think this might be my last job.”
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