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Press Conference hot topics: Bruce on Newcastle, Benitez, Dr Tony and Lansbury

Bruce: I am the man for this job – I will turn it around Season tickets 2017/18 – now on sale
Press Conference hot topics: Bruce on Newcastle, Benitez, Dr Tony and Lansbury

Steve Bruce faced the media this week in the run-up to our away clash with Newcastle on Monday.

His views in full are below.

On lifting the players…

It’s always the most difficult part of it.

If they see you wilt, they will follow.

When you’re up against it, the only thing you can do is stick your chest out a bit and get on with it.

When you’ve been in football for 20 years as a manager, there are times when it’s tough – and there’s no disputing it’s tough right now.

But you roll your sleeves up and get on with.

I do think we’ve been unfortunate in the last couple of games – we’ve had something like 50 attempts against two teams – and just scored the one goal.

We can feel a bit hard-done by but that’s what happens when you’re up against it.

On turning the tide…

It’s amazing what a touch of confidence can do.

I remember when I walked through the door four months ago and we snuck a result at Reading – and it gave everyone a lift overnight because we hadn’t won away from home for so long.

We have to go and get a result however it happens and then it turns.

Look at Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich – they get a result against us and then get another one against Brighton. It’s how it turns around. 

You have to see it through. I am determined this will happen.

On his appreciation of fan backing…

It’s probably been one of the toughest periods for the club – and the fans themselves.

Let’s be honest, it’s only seven years ago that this club was competing at the top end of the Premier League.

It’s tough for the fans to take but this is what can happen to a big club.

There have been six managers sitting here in the last two years. That suggests alone that it’s been chaos – and when there’s chaos at a football club it results in one thing, it doesn’t matter how big it is, how big the name, how big the stadium is, if you’re not right on the pitch, it can be very difficult

The supporters have been unwavering – fantastic – and you can only thank them for that.

I know – I am confident – we will turn it around and get a team they will be proud of again.

On the new lads…

I do believe the club is in a healthier position – even from when I took over four months ago.

I have brought in some very good young players who are desperate to achieve something with this club.

It took me 30 minutes in total to sort out the transfers – they just wanted to come here. That tells you something about our club.

On Henri Lansbury…

Henri has done very, very well – although the results haven’t gone his way.

I’ve been quietly pleased with him and his impact.

I have taken him off in a couple of games because he’s flirting with nine bookings – so he’s just two away from a ban.

He gets himself a bit excited, which I have detected in a couple of games, so we’ve tried to protect him because he’s an important player for us.

On Newcastle…

Many would say this game should be in the Premier League but it isn’t and that just shows you how difficult it is.

They have done very well – settled team and settled position – and they will be difficult to beat.

On whether he’s made mistakes…

Of course! Over the last six weeks I haven’t been good enough.

The three months before that, I was the best thing since sliced bread. 

You learn from your mistakes. I am determined to see it through and I know I am the right person for it. 

Given time, I know I will get it right.

On who he turns to in bad moments…

The big man upstairs! Where are you? Where is he in my hour of need?

I think that is always the difficult one – you, of course, rely on your staff who you work with day-in and day-out.

And the one thing I have learnt over the years is that you can’t get yourself too carried away.

When you’re up against it, you can’t beat yourself up too much because I am the one who takes training, I am the one who leads the team meeting.

If they see I am beaten up and done in, they will do the same.

BenitezVillaMainOn Rafa Benitez…

Rafa has brought well. 

He’s a hugely experienced man at the helm – I think securing him in the summer was possibly their biggest signing.

On positive headlines…

We have to turn it around, move it forward and get it talked about the way this great club needs to be talked about. 

For too long, it’s been all about the wrong stuff. 

I have read it from afar and I have been in and around the city long enough to understand it’s had a few problems.

On the owner’s backing…

The owner is fiercely committed to the cause. He wants everyone to do well and he’s determined to see it through.

The backing I have received has been second to none.

What we have to do now is settle down and pick up a few results which will turn this thing around.

The owner lets me go and manage it and wishes me the best of luck. 

On whether the players realise the predicament…

Yes. I don’t think they are that silly. 

They realise they are in a scrap.

Six weeks ago we were looking to see if we could catch the top ones – we were a few points off it.

We’ve had a horrible few weeks, that’s what it is. It can happen.

What do you do? You see it through, cope with it, do the basics, stop making mistakes and go and sneak a win.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 16th February 2017