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Big Sam Urges Toon Fans To Back Bruce

Big Sam Urges Toon Fans To Back Bruce

Former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has urged the club’s fans to give Steve Bruce the time Rafael Benitez was afforded last season.

The 64-year-old is well aware of the pressure the Magpies’ job brings given that he held the post for just half of the 2007-08 season before being axed after just 24 games in charge.

However, Bruce faced strong criticism from the Toon Army before a ball was kicked this season after he was brought in to replace Benitez last month.

The Spaniard walked away at the end of his contract on June 30, citing the club’s lack of ambition for opting to extend his three-year spell on Tyneside.

The fans were furious that owner Mike Ashley allowed Benitez to leave and were then incensed that he dropped into the Championship to replace him with Bruce after raiding Sheffield Wednesday for his services.

Bruce is a Geordie and a boyhood fan of Newcastle, but the fact he turned his back on a job offer in the past and then had a spell in charge of local rivals Sunderland has tarnished his image with the locals.

A good start to the new season could have appeased the masses, but a slender 1-0 home defeat against Arsenal was followed by a lacklustre 3-1 drubbing at promoted Norwich on Saturday.

That result has set some alarm bells ringing and the feeling is that a couple more negative results could see the fans baying for the club to wield the axe.

However, Allardyce has pointed out that when the team had failed to win a Premier League until defeating Watford in early November, there were no calls for Benitez to be shown the exit door.

The former England chief claims Bruce needs time to get his ideas across to the players having only spent a month in charge and it would be pure folly for him to be replaced.

Allardyce told Talksport: “There’s huge, huge pressure. There’s much more pressure, believe me because I’ve been there, there’s much more pressure on you at Newcastle.

“Steve needs to find a result or two to get a bit of time but it’s fair to say, no win until November [last season], and if Steve is getting some stick now, where was the stick for Rafa?”

Bruce will take his side to Tottenham this weekend and a surprise win in north London would go a long way to getting him onside with the fans.

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