In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Steve Howey, who played for Newcastle United for 11 years, believes Steve Bruce did nothing wrong after his public criticism of a number of Newcastle players after their draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this month.
Bruce came out and picked fault with a number of players including Martin Dubravka in what was the latter’s first Premier League game for a number of months.
However, Howey believes Bruce did nothing wrong and was just telling the truth of what happened to the media. The former defender does believe players are sensitive these days, however, so it could have been kept behind closed doors.
It was straight after a game in which Newcastle had played well for the majority, but still came away from the game holding onto a point after Dubravka saved from Fabio Silva in added time.
Howey explained exclusively to FFC how Bruce did nothing wrong and actually just talked through what happened during the game.
“What did the manager actually say wrong? He gave Ritchie instructions to pass on and did he do it? No.
“Was he criticising the goalkeeper? Would the goalkeeper look at that goal and think he could have done better? Yeah.
“Was he having a go at Lascelles for general defending on certain things? Yeah. Joelinton, can he give you more? Yeah. Is he wrong? No, I don’t think so.
“Players are very sensitive, shall we say? They will at times, well all the time, like that to be kept behind closed doors.”
Bruce may have hoped for a positive reaction off the back of that. He did get a reaction but it was a negative one with his team going to West Bromwich Albion and having to settle with a 0-0 draw.
The players will need a lot of fight if they are to avoid relegation and Bruce will be hoping his squad will want to prove his public criticism wrong.