The confusion shown in bringing Jetro Willems on to replace Jonjo Shelvey was embarrassing enough, as the Daily Mail reported Steve Bruce even asked his backroom staff what was happening before sorting the situation.
Following the game, Bruce explained the mix up, saying he had wanted to play the Dutchman at left-wing-back: “It was just a lack of communication with him.
“He only played there [centre-midfield] for two minutes really until we got the information down about where we wanted him to play.”
However, when asked about it ahead of the Norwich City game, Bruce was quoted in The Mag as stating: “I put Jetro on in midfield where he played for [Eintracht] Frankfurt.
“Then I thought it was unfair and then I switched him quickly. We made a mistake.”
It didn’t feel as though this scenario could get much more farcical, but Bruce’s comments have managed to make that happen.
Bruce is under a lot of scrutiny at Newcastle, especially due to his previous links with Sunderland and the relationship the fans have with Mike Ashley (as highlighted by talkSPORT).
He is also coming in for a very popular manager in Rafael Benitez, as indicated by BBC Sport’s report of his departure, which included Magpies fans holding a peaceful protest when he left – which does not help Bruce’s cause.
Therefore, the manager needed to make sure that he went as long as possible without any form of calamity or something that could lead to him being questioned further, but he didn’t even manage to make it through his first competitive game without one of those moments.
This is really something Bruce could have done without and he has made himself seem less respectable after changing his story about the situation that unfolded.
All this does is put more pressure on the 58-year-old and his players to get a result on Saturday to bring morale up around the club.
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