Steve Bruce asked former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for advice on how to handle the crisis at Newcastle.
There was intense speculation regarding Bruce’s future at St James’ Park following the takeover of Newcastle by Saudi-backed owners, and he left the club this week.
As reported by The Sun, Ferguson told Bruce to remain in the job until a decision was made.
Steve Bruce asked Sir Alex Ferguson for advice regarding the situation at Newcastle United
Legendary former United boss Ferguson told Bruce to stay in the job until a decision was made
Bruce played under Ferguson at United between 1987 and 1996 and enjoyed much success, winning the league and the FA Cup three times each as well as experiencing glory in the League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
During just over two years at Newcastle, Bruce was in charge for 97 games, winning 28, drawing 28 and losing 41.
The 60-year-old faced a considerable amount of criticism from Newcastle fans, many of whom were frustrated with the team’s performances and the way in which Bruce conducted himself in interviews.
Bruce enjoyed much success as a player at United while working under Ferguson’s guidance
Bruce has had a lengthy managerial career which dates back to 1998 and has seen him take charge of ten different clubs.
However, following his departure from Newcastle, Bruce admitted that he is considering retirement as a consequence of the abuse that he has received.
He told The Telegraph: ‘I think this might be my last job. It’s not just about me, it’s taken its toll on my whole family because they are all Geordies and I can’t ignore that.
‘They have been worried about me… especially my wife Jan. What an amazing woman she is, incredible, she’s just a fantastic woman, wife and mother and grandmother. She dealt with the death of my parents, hers have not been very well. And then she had me to worry about and what I’ve been going through the last couple of years.’
Bruce admitted that he is considering retiring as a result of some of the abuse he has received
Bruce felt that some of the criticism of him was unjust, admitting that it was ‘very, very tough’ to deal with.
He said: ‘By the time I got to Newcastle, I thought I could handle everything thrown at me but it has been very, very tough.
‘To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage head or whatever. And it was from day one.
‘When we were doing ok results wise, it was ‘yeah but the style of football is rubbish’ or I was just ‘lucky’. It was ridiculous and persistent, even when the results were good.’
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said he was ‘really sad’ to read Bruce’s statement after his departure
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expressed sympathy with Bruce and added that the fear of personal abuse is deterring managers from taking jobs.
Arteta said: ‘I was really sad after reading that statement from Steve.
‘You’re talking about somebody who has been in the game for over 40 years as a player and as a manager.
‘I think we have to reflect. We can’t take for granted and accept certain things because they are how they are.
‘No, we are here as well to improve them and change them, like we do with any rules, with any fixture list and we have with anything that we want to improve for our sport, fans, stadium, facilities and broadcasts.
‘We’re going to spend more time and we have an open table to discuss how we’re going to do that because I think we have to think about the fact that one of the most experienced managers in England’s history is telling you that in a letter.
‘You can’t just ignore that, so for me, it’s a very serious statement and it’s something that has to change and has to start to change.’
Graeme Jones, who worked as an assistant to Bruce, has been placed in temporary charge of Newcastle and and was in charge for the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Newcastle, who have yet to win a league game this season, are 19th in the table.