Steve Bruce has hit back at Michael Chopra’s claims that senior Newcastle players have told him they don’t know their jobs on the field – but the head coach admits he is already in the midst of a ‘storm’ on Tyneside.
The Magpies have lost their first two matches of the Premier League season and former striker Chopra claimed this week that some players have expressed concern to him over tactical work on the training pitch.
However, Bruce has delivered a strong retort to those suggestions.
Steve Bruce has urged Newcastle fans to persevere with his side after a tough start to the term
‘The Chopra thing was blown out of all proportion. Some of this stuff out there is just nonsense, blatant lies,’ he said.
‘Some of the criticism has been relentless but I’ll protect the players and keep my dignity.’
He added: ‘I’m just surprised that people pay any attention to him. Some of the stuff is just fabricated and lies.
‘When it’s like that, you think why is that making national headlines – which is total rubbish.’
Michael Chopra claims some of the senior players at St James’ Park ‘don’t know their jobs’
Bruce says his players were ‘fine’ with being told to report for training on Sunday morning in the wake of the 3-1 defeat at Norwich, after which the boss accused his players of ‘not putting their boots on’.
But he has played down talk of a crisis.
‘After two games there’s a so-called mini-crisis. It is over-sensationalised. Everything seems to be that way,’ said Bruce.
‘But look, I understand that, it’s the nature of the club – it always has been. There’s always a storm in Newcastle and at the minute, we’re in one.
‘The only way we can do it is to get a couple of results and the team to perform, and after two games, it’s very, very early to judge just yet.’
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