Steve Bruce’s tenure as Newcastle boss is allegedly under threat after a bust-up with winger Matt Ritchie following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.
The manager blamed the player for not passing on tactical information to his team-mates quickly enough.
Indeed, confusion reigned before Ruben Neves headed in the equaliser at St James’ Park, as explained by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher (via Twitter).
However, Ritchie allegedly took serious issue with Bruce and telephoned him after the game. The 31-year-old reportedly told his manager that he wanted to ‘have it out there and then’.
But Bruce’s insistence that he speak to Ritchie in training on Tuesday reportedly angered the player further.
As such, Bruce reportedly sent assistant boss Steve Agnew out to the training pitches to call Ritchie in for talks. Ritchie supposedly said he did not want to speak to the ‘coward’ again.
Therefore, Bruce – who was allegedly ‘livid’ – came out to confront the winger and shoulder-barged him, saying, ‘After all I’ve done for you’.
Ritchie did not retaliate physically, but reportedly responded with words of his own.
He is reported to have said, “You’ve done f*** all for me,” before telling Bruce he was a ‘coward’ and that he was ‘done’ with him.
Bruce then supposedly replied: “What are you going to do? Tell Lee Charnley?”
The Magpies‘ managing director then reportedly turned up at training on Wednesday, but the Daily Mail does not say whether he had a role in proceedings.
Newcastle fallout to reportedly follow
However, the newspaper adds that the incident is not a one-off and that there could be consequences.
Bruce’s position is ‘under threat’ and ‘several players’ allegedly no longer trust their manager.
In any case, the Daily Mail adds that the players have sided with Ritchie and that there is a ‘growing feeling of resentment towards Bruce’.
Newcastle sit three points above the Premier League’s relegation zone and play 18th-placed Fulham on the final day.
Before then, though, they still have to face Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.
However, the Magpies next task is a clash with West Brom on Sunday.