'We are where we are' – Steve Bruce fronts up to Newcastle United ambition anger thrown his way
Steve Bruce insists his Newcastle United remit has NOT changed – and it was himself, not necessarily the club, who set sights on the Premier League top 10.
While the head coach, who says his task as manager is to merely keep the Magpies in the Premier League, has laid bare his thoughts on United’s current predicament – insisting fans accept ‘we are where we are’.
“No, no. No, no, no. The remit hasn't changed,” said Bruce when quizzed on recent seemingly contradictory statements.
Bruce has always talked of United aiming for the Premier League top half, but last week revealed avoiding relegation is all that is expected of him.
“The remit has been the same since I walked through the door,” he continued. “But my attitude is we need to try and aim for the top 10.
“That is what I've said. We were two or three positions away from it last season. And at the end of the season, you are where you are.
“We would all want to be shooting for the top 10, but the first thing we must do is remain a Premier League outfit.”
When asked about fan criticism of his comments and performances, Bruce gave the terse response: “I can understand their (fans’) frustration but that’s where we are.”
When asked again and pointed towards the progress of Aston Villa, Everton and others as a potential source of United fans’ anger, Bruce went a little further in explaining his stance, but reiterated the very same message.
“I can understand the frustration,” he said.
"We are, where we are.
"We would all love to have what Everton have achieved over the last few years. Or be able to match the spending power of Aston Villa, which has propelled them up the league.
“But, I keep saying, we are where we are – and that is, unfortunately, where we are at this particular moment.”
Newcastle United are currently placed 14th in the Premier League table, on 18 points. They have a seven-point barrier between themselves and the top flight bottom three, with a game in hand.