Former Sunderland striker says Steve Bruce has done 'OK' at Newcastle United - but suggests it's time to resign

Darren Bent believes Steve Bruce has done an “OK job” at Newcastle United but suggests he should resign from his head coach position.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 4:30 pm
Darren Bent was signed for Sunderland by Steve Bruce in 2009. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Darren Bent was signed for Sunderland by Steve Bruce in 2009. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The former Sunderland striker believes Bruce, who signed him for the Black Cats in 2009, has lost sections of the dressing room.

With Magpies supporters desperate to see the back of the 60-year-old, Bent is worried for his ex-boss’ health.

The 13-capped England international insists Bruce “can’t win” no matter what he does at St James’s Park.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Bent, 37, provided his verdict in response to reports Bruce has handed his under-performing squad six days off over the international break.

He told talkSPORT: "It's fairly normal during an international break to get this amount of time off. They do need to get away.

“The biggest concern is unity because it looks like there so many whispers are coming out of that dressing room, so that just tells you that a lot of the players aren't playing for Steve.

“For Steve himself, what he's having to endure people hammering him from outside and getting stick from people up there. If it were me, I would have to resign, just for health reasons.

"I think for himself because it can't be good that every time he picks up a newspaper… he probably doesn't even do that anymore.

“I lived up there, it's 24 hours a day football, football football. I was in Sunderland so I was out a little bit. In Newcastle, they love that football club more than anything - that is their life up there and the fact that he's taking so much stick - it's difficult.

“For me, he's done an OK job but the Newcastle fans I certainly speak to have got a problem with the way they're playing the game.

"They think they've got players there that are good enough to play a different expensive game but they're not doing that. There is a bit of reservedness, it's a bit flat and It's a bit one-dimensional.

“People are going hammer him 'why have you given them two days off?' He gives you six days off and he's getting hammered for that.

“At the minute, he can't win. The kind of good thing for Newcastle you'd have to say is (survival) it's still in their own hands.”