Former Newcastle United star Rob Lee feels certain that owner Mike Ashley will sack manager Steve Bruce at the end of the season, regardless of whether they are relegated.
Bruce, 60, has been in charge at St James’ Park since the summer of 2019. He was not a universally popular choice to succeed Rafa Benitez in the dugout. But the much-travelled tactician managed to guide the Magpies to 13th place in his first season in charge. They also made an encouraging start to 2020-2021.
With five wins and two draws from their first 12 games, the north-east outfit sat in mid table in December. But things have gone downhill since then, with only two more wins since beating West Brom on December 12.
The Tynesiders now find themselves in the middle of a relegation scrap. With eight games to go, they are 17th in the standings and just three points above the drop zone.
Fulham are one spot below and it seemed as though the Cottagers would move above them. But Scott Parker’s men have faltered of late, losing four of their last five to remain 18th.
It has given Newcastle a lifeline and four draws from their past five games has kept them above water. However, it is still anyone’s guess as to which club will be relegated this term.
Lee feels that was the right decision as changing the boss now would be counterproductive.
“A new manager would be very restricted in what they could do because they couldn’t bring in new players and could they motivate the players to keep Newcastle up?” he told This is Futbol.
“Newcastle are probably looking at it and Ashley will be thinking just get me to the end of the season.”
Bruce on borrowed time
Ashley has been looking for a buyer to end his spell in charge of Newcastle for some time. There have been a few false dawns and he remains at the controls.
It seems as though his interest in the club has long since waned. But Lee feels he will still make a major decision in the summer.
“Wherever he’s bothered what division Newcastle are in or not, I’m not convinced, but I’m sure he’ll make a change at the end of the season,” he added.