Newcastle United’s players are reportedly shocked by the club’s decision to stand by Steve Bruce following the club’s concerning slide towards the relegation places.
Bruce has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks following an alarming run of form, Newcastle having won just two of their past 17 league fixtures to sit just two points above the Premier League’s bottom three.
The Magpies’ fortunes worsened further following a 3-0 thrashing at fellow strugglers Brighton on Saturday, a performance which saw Bruce play without a recognised centre-forward as Newcastle were outfought and outclassed at the Amex Stadium.
Despite the disappointing defeat, owner Mike Ashley has maintained his support of the under-fire manager, a decision which the Mail say has shocked the dressing room, some of which are keen for Bruce to leave the club.
There is also confusion at Bruce’s decision to afford the player’s additional rest despite their woeful recent form and performance at Brighton, with training only resuming on Tuesday following their humbling defeat to the Seagulls.
Club sources have reportedly suggested the additional rest has been provided is in the hope the players can come back physically and mentally prepared for the club’s fixture with Tottenham after the international break.
However, with several players already in the view that Bruce’s position has become untenable ahead of the run-in, the reduced preparation has added to the feeling of uncertainty and confusion around St James’ Park ahead of a crucial period.
The owner’s stance has also heightened fears that Newcastle are sliding towards another relegation, with the consensus that the Magpies acted too late in changing managers during their relegations in both 2008/09 and 2015/16.