Newcastle need to keep faith in Steve Bruce rather than turning on him despite failing to pick up a single point in either of his first two matches in charge.
This is according to Sam Allardyce, the former Magpies manager, who insists it’s a really difficult job while reminding fans Rafa Benitez couldn’t even save the club from relegation.
Benitez, who left St James’ Park at the end of last season, was in charge of Newcastle when they dropped out the Premier League in 2016, though he had only been in charge for two months.
He successfully guided the Tyneside club back to the top flight as 2016/17 Championship champions, and kept them up for two successive seasons before leaving at the end of last term when his contract expired.
He had not managed in the Premier League for three years before being named Newcastle boss, while his spell in charge of fierce local rivals Sunderland did little to endear him to the Toon Army.
The pressure on Bruce would have been eased had Newcastle started the season well, but they have lost each of their opening two Premier League matches, suffering defeats at the hands of Arsenal then Norwich.
While calls for the 58-year-old to be sacked are not yet being heard, further results such as these will only increase the pressure on his head and could lead to his eventual dismissal.
But Bruce needs time to make an impact at St James’ Park, Allardyce claims, and he needs the fans on his side the same way Benitez was backed by supporters.
Speaking on talkSPORT’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Allardyce said: “[Benitez] played a very, very good PR game shifting it all onto Mike Ashley. That’s what the Newcastle fans took up: Rafa got no stick but Mike Ashley took it all.
“And now just two games in Steve Bruce is getting it as much as Mike, and that’s quite sad for somebody who is a Newcastle supporter and has had his dream move to Newcastle United.
“I think the supporters need to give him a bit more time.
“At the end of the day it’s a really difficult job; you have to remember Rafa couldn’t save Newcastle.
“He got them relegated and every manager that’s been relegated at Newcastle since I left has always bounced back the next season and got into the Premier League.
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“Rafa jumped ship for the first job that came available to him.
“He did do a good job keeping them up and getting them out of trouble for a couple of years, and he did a very, very good job getting them back up again [from the Championship], and he is a very, very good manager.
“But Steve Bruce has got really good credentials about looking after teams in the Premier League, getting teams to the Premier League, keeping them in the Premier League, and I think he should be given time to get his own team available.
“But he needs a few results to get himself that time.”
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