Steve Bruce has suggested Jose Mourinho must be given time to prove himself to Tottenham.
The Newcastle head coach and the Portuguese firebrand will be in direct opposition at St James’ Park on Wednesday evening when Tottenham travel to Tyneside.
Spurs currently find themselves sitting in eighth place in the Premier League table with three games remaining following Sunday’s north London derby victory over Arsenal.
But that, for a club which has finished in the top four in each of the last four seasons, has Mourinho in the firing line.
Bruce also believes Mourinho must be given time to turn the tide.
Bruce said: “Look, if he can get a bit of stick then what chance have we all got? He’s a serial winner. He’s managed some of the biggest and best clubs in the world and won, and yet still people doubt him.
“That’s the industry we live in now. I find it remarkable. I’ve always got on OK with him. I’ve got the hugest respect for what he’s done and what he’s achieved. All we do now is blow holes in him. I can’t understand it.
“Since he’s arrived, the ‘Special One’, in my opinion, has always been special and lit the Premier League up over the years. I have huge admiration for what he has done and achieved and we shouldn’t forget that.”
Bruce admits takeover uncertainty
Mourinho arrived at Tottenham almost three months after Bruce had recorded his first victory as Magpies boss. That was a 1-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium courtesy of Joelinton’s first goal in English football.
The intervening period has proved eventful on and off the pitch for the 59-year-old Geordie. Recent months have been dominated by PCP Capital Partners’ Saudi-funded attempt to buy out Mike Ashley.
The process remains unresolved and has left the club in limbo as eyes are cast towards the delayed start of the new season.
Bruce does not know if he will still be in a job should the bid prove successful. He also reckons the recruitment process could be significantly different if the club’s funds are boosted substantially.
The head coach said: “Is it happening or is it not? – is something I and everybody out there wants to know. We need that decision.
“If so, then we will move from there. If not, it’s got to be let’s plan as best we possibly can and get on with the job at hand.”