Steve Bruce called his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson for words of advice in the build-up to Newcastle’s most recent Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur.
With Bruce under immense pressure just two game in at St James’ Park following a dismal display against Norwich last weekend, the call to Sir Alex worked wonders. Joelinton’s maiden goal enabled Newcastle to win 1-0 away at Spurs, and pick up their first points of the season.
With many supporters still fuming with Mike Ashley following the departure of Rafa Benitez, Bruce is in one of toughest jobs in the managerial world right now. The former Man Utd defender therefore called up Sir Alex and asked his former manager for advice - something many of Ferguson’s former charges have done throughout their coaching careers.
According to The Athletic, Sir Alex told Bruce to “keep his head down and get on with it”.
It worked, as Bruce nailed his tactics - reverting to a 5-4-1 formation that succeeded in holding out Tottenham for 90 minutes.
In his press conference on Friday at Newcastle’s Benton training centre, Bruce adopted an approach his former manager became accustomed with. He gave a passionate, and at times heated media briefing, dismissing Michael Chopra’s suggestion that senior players “don’t know their jobs” as “nonsense”.
The aim was to create a siege mentality, making the Newcastle players feel like it was them against the world, something Sir Alex did on a regular basis when looking for a reaction out of his Manchester United side. It worked wonders.
Chris Turner, who played under Sir Alex in the 1980s and has also played alongside Bruce for Manchester United had his say on the situation.
He stated: “You go to the people you trust and respect for advice when you feel it’s required, Steve will go to Sir Alex if he feels there is some advice he needs and can get from one of the most successful managers in history.
“I know Steve will utilise the skills and managerial tools he witnessed under Sir Alex and that he has learned himself throughout his own coaching career in order to lift Newcastle out of this tricky start.”
With the words of Sir Alex still ringing in his ears, Bruce will be hoping Joelinton’s winner will boost confidence in the Newcastle squad and enable them to go on a good run which will therefore ease the pressure on himself.