Steve Bruce makes honest Premier League survival admission ahead of Brighton
Steve Bruce has admitted he has not been good enough to prevent the club sliding into a desperate fight for Premier League survival.
However, the 60-year-old head coach has vowed to do everything within his powers to rectify the situation ahead of a potentially pivotal weekend.
The Magpies head for fellow strugglers Brighton on Saturday evening knowing they could have slipped into the bottom three by kick-off, with Fulham hosting Leeds 24 hours earlier.
Asked if that scenario coupled with defeat on the South Coast would leave owner Mike Ashley with a decision to make over his future, Bruce replied: “That decision will always be taken out of my hands.
“I only want what’s best for the club and over the last few months in particular, I haven’t been good enough to get the results that this club demands.
“I understand it totally, the way it is. I will do my utmost to make sure that the club stays in the Premier League. For all the other stuff, I can’t influence that.
“But I’ll never walk away from it, I’ll never walk away from the challenge, that’s for sure.”
Brighton boosted their own survival hopes with a 2-1 victory at Southampton last Sunday while three wins and two draws in their last seven outings have edged Fulham to within two points of Newcastle.
Bruce’s men, who head for Craven Cottage on the final day of the campaign, have won just two of their last 17 league games and drawn their last three, and the former Manchester United defender is pinning his hopes on mirroring an encouraging start to the season in the final 10 games.
He said: “I try to break seasons down into quarters and every 10 games, you look at it. We had a really good start, we had, awful, awful period over Christmas – there’s no denying that – and January, and over the last eight, 10 games, we’ve done far, far better.
“We’ve got 10 games left – can we match what we did at the start of the season by getting something like 17, 18 points? That would be nice if we could, and we’re capable, we know we’re capable.”
Newcastle’s plight has been exacerbated by the loss of key men Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin to injury, but there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel.
Wilson is back in training, but unlikely to figure until after the forthcoming international break and Saint-Maximin is behind him.
However, Paraguay international Almiron has an outside chance of making the trip to the AMEX Stadium.
Bruce said: “He’s got a chance. We’ll see.”