This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, John Hartson has suggested Steve Bruce will be given until January to turn things around at Newcastle.
Since taking over from Rafa Benitez in the summer, Bruce has had an almighty job in trying to lift spirits at St James’ Park. Before the clash against Manchester United last weekend, the Magpies found themselves with just five points from their opening seven Premier League games.
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However, a famous 1-0 victory over the Red Devils helped them climb out of the relegation zone, and Hartson has revealed the next few months could prove crucial in deciding the manager’s future at the club.
He told Football FanCast: “I know Steve, he’s a really really top bloke, says it like it is, doesn’t make excuses, he’s honest, he just needs his players now to step up and to give it everything.
“I think Bruce will get a bit more time, another three or four months until January. If Newcastle are rock bottom or in the bottom three then Mike Ashley might decide to do something and panic.
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“But he’ll get the next three or four months to try and get Newcastle on some sort of run.”
Make no mistake about it, the victory over United felt like a hugely pivotal moment in the context of Newcastle’s season and Bruce’s future. The 5-0 humiliation the Magpies suffered at the hands of Leicester the week before had simply added to the ill-feeling and resentment surrounding the club, but the nature of the win against the Red Devils could prove to be a turning point.
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Matty Longstaff’s heroics and his partnership in midfield with his older brother, Sean, could galvanise the fans, whilst the side’s return to a more tried-and-trusted tactical set-up bore great rewards too. If Bruce can tap into that over the coming months, then he may just be able to completely turn things around.
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