Steve Bruce: Under-pressure Newcastle United boss says he will 'crack on' with Magpies job

Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce has been in charge of Newcastle United for two seasons

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce says he expects to be in charge of the club next season and is already in talks about recruiting new players.

The 60-year-old, who has a contract until June 2022, has kept Newcastle in the Premier League with the three relegation places already decided.

While he has faced criticism from fans during the season, he insists he will not walk away from the job.

"I have a contract, so until I hear otherwise we'll crack on," he said.

"I'm a football manager, I'm not ready to retire yet.

"You have to dust yourself down and have a thick skin. I'll crack on to the best of my ability. I've had to scrap and fight all my life. As player and manager, nothing has come easy for me. I have to work hard and dig deep and get my rewards."

Bruce said they are "working as normal" and "quietly behind the scenes" on plans for next season.

"We're doing pre-season preparations now," he said. "We've already had transfer conversations.

"The big conversations are still to be had."

The former Manchester United defender took over from Rafael Benitez at St James' Park in the summer of 2019, and the Magpies finished 13th in his first season.

Bruce's side, who face champions Manchester City on Friday, still have three games to surpass last season's points tally of 44, with two of those matches against already relegated Sheffield United and Fulham.

Some supporters, however, have grown tired of the former Sunderland, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday boss and the way his team plays.

There were calls for his dismissal following a 3-0 defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion in March, but since then Newcastle have lost just one of their six games - winning three, including a 4-2 victory over third-placed Leicester City.

Bruce said that he was thankful for club owner Mike Ashley's support following the Brighton defeat.

"It was crucial. When you're up against it is when you need support," he said. "The message was clear: 'We're 100% behind you'. You have to put your chest out and look for a response.

"The people that responded were the players, there were questions about character. It was the low point. That's where you dig deep, use your experience, we've worked tirelessly to turn the situation around."

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