Newcastle v Spurs match in pictures
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Newcastle right-back Javi Manquillo has publicly backed Steve Bruce and insists his team-mates support their under-fire boss. That is despite rumours that the club’s players are hoping for a change in manager before Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.
Bruce was widely expected to be sacked after a consortium 80 per cent backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia completed the eye-watering £305million takeover of the club earlier this month.
The 60-year-old, who is viewed by supporters as a symbol of the deeply unpopular Mike Ashley era, is under huge pressure amid an eight-game winless run in the league.
However, Bruce remained in charge for last weekend’s game with Tottenham and hit out at journalists for their reporting of his future after he clung on to his job.
A 3-2 defeat by Spurs, though, will likely have done the former Manchester United title winner no favours. Speculation over his future has intensified this week and several big names, including Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, have been linked with the job.
But defender Manquillo has launched a defence of his boss. The former Liverpool star has said that his team-mates continue to support Bruce.
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That is despite the Daily Mail reporting earlier this week that midfielder Isaac Hayden and captain Jamaal Lascelles had come to blows in the aftermath of the Spurs defeat and that the squad wants a change of leadership.
“We are all professionals, Steve the first,” Manquillo told the Telegraph.
“He knows that the situation is not easy and even more so now that there is talk of his dismissal, but we are not getting carried away by the rumours.
“He’s working normally, he wants to start to get back on track and we’ll see what happens in the end.
“I have read that there is talk of Gerrard and Lampard, but our manager now is Steve Bruce and we support him without hesitation.”
Shareholder Amanda Staveley has promised supporters that ‘world-class’ players will arrive at St James’ Park.
Asked for his dream signing, the 27-year-old said: “If you ask me who I’d sign for Newcastle, I’d go for [Kylian] Mbappe and I’d go for [Erling] Haaland.
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“If it was a PlayStation team I’d also go for Messi and Cristiano, but the youngsters who stand out the most right now are those two.”
Bruce said of his future after the defeat by Spurs: “I’ll wait until they (owners) see fit.
“We’ll see what they have got to say. You’re going to have to ask somebody else that.”
Asked about his side’s performance, he added: “We were beaten by the better team after a wonderful start.
“Problems that we’ve had for a while now defensively were there for all to see, unfortunately.
“We’ve started a few games like that, we’ve got off to a good start and scored, got our noses in front, unfortunately, we’re not able to defend well enough as a team.”
The defeat leaves Newcastle second bottom with just three points to their name. It is unclear at present whether or not Bruce will still be in the dugout for Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
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