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Steve Bruce leaves Newcastle by mutual consent after winless start

Steve Bruce has left his position as Newcastle head coach by mutual consent.

Bruce, 60, was never accepted by the Toon faithful following his appointment in 2019 and the only surprise is the club’s new owners did not remove him as soon as they took control.

Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham in the first game since the Mike Ashley era ended left the Magpies winless in the Premier League and staring down the barrel of a relegation battle.  

Minority owner Amanda Staveley praised Bruce for his professionalism in their dealings prior to that clash.

But with the transfer window closed until January and 12 league matches scheduled before then, the club will hope a new face can inject fresh life into the squad.

Despite the difficulties he has faced, Bruce insists he was grateful to be given the opportunity at St James’ Park.

He said: “I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club.

“I would like to thank my coaching team, the players and the support staff in particular for all their hard work. 

“There have been highs and lows but they have given everything even in difficult moments and should be proud of their efforts. 

“This is a club with incredible support and I hope the new owners can take it forward to where we all want it to be. 

“I wish everyone the very best of luck for the rest of this season and beyond.”

Despite being a boyhood Newcastle fan, replacing Rafael Benitez, a previous spell in charge of Sunderland and a turgid style of football meant Bruce was never accepted by the Newcastle faithful.

Since the return of capacity crowds at the start of the season, Toon supporters have made their feelings clear with regular chants for the former Manchester United defender to be sacked.

Assistant boss Graeme Jones will take the team on an interim basis with the Magpies confirming the process to appoint a new head coach has already begun.

They travel to Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Bruce had guided the Toon Army to 13th in his first season in charge before finishing 12th last term — and Sunday’s clash with Tottenham was his 1,000th match as a manager.

Speaking following confirmation of the takeover two weeks ago, he was at peace with the fact he may lose his job.

Bruce said: “I want to continue, I’d like the chance to show the new owners what I can do, but you have to be realistic and they may well want a new manager to launch things for them.

“New owners normally want a new manager. I’ve been around long enough to understand that.

“That decision is not up to me. I accept that and I will accept what comes my way.”