GARY Bennett said in Tuesday night’s Echo that he felt Steve Bruce’s sacking had become only a matter of time after the animosity and abuse showered down on him from the terraces after the weekend’s defeat to Wigan.
And within 24 hours the former Sunderland skipper’s prediction was proven exactly right.
Hours before the sacking, Bennett, now a Radio Newcastle summariser, told the Echo: “It’s a no-win situation for him.
“I’m sorry to say it, but I think it’s inevitable he will go – the question is when and how.
“If he continues and wins a few games, it will take the sting out of it but as soon as he loses a couple on the trot the barracking will be back.
“I was hosting the phone-in after the Wigan game and there was a lot of hostility from the fans.
“With good results he could win some of them back but the problem is that you can never win everyone over and the minority always have the loudest voices.
“The fans’ reaction crossed the line from footballing matters to the personal and, from the manager’s point of view, he must be asking himself if he needs to put himself and his family through this.”
“I do feel for Bruce because he has been unfortunate. The club has struggled with massive injury problems and that certainly hasn’t helped him.
“Also he has put his trust in the players he has brought in and some of them need to take a look at themselves. But, ultimately, the manager always takes responsibility and gets the lion’s share of the blame when things go wrong.”
Today, Bennett (pictured, left) told the Echo: “I take absolutely no pleasure in being right.
“I think those of us who are close to the situation, people in the media who get more of an insight than most into what is happening behind the scenes, could see just how much he was in trouble.
“The only surprise is that it happened exactly when it did because, having got through to Wednesday, it was looking as though he would still be in charge at the weekend at least.
“I feel a bit sorry for him because things happened that were out of his hands, like Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan wanting to leave.
“And maybe, at the end of the day, the players who turned out for him this season have to ask themselves did they let him down?
“Could they have tried harder or played better?
“They need to look at themselves and, if nothing else, try to give a special performance for the fans and the club at Wolves this weekend.”