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Steve Bruce insists he will not give up despite Newcastle’s defeat at Brighton

Brighton and Hove Albion v Newcastle United – Premier League – AMEX Stadium
(Image credit: Clive Rose)

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce insisted he will not give up and that he is the right man for the job after their lacklustre 3-0 defeat in a crucial game against fellow relegation-battlers Brighton.

The visitors went into the game having won just two of their last 17 league matches and the result has led to a supporter group calling for an imminent change of manager.

Leandro Trossard’s curled opener put the home side ahead just before the break. Danny Welbeck then doubled Brighton’s lead with a well-struck shot into the corner six minutes into the second half, and Neal Maupay’s 68th-minute volley sealed all three points.

When asked if he believed remaining at the helm at St James’ Park was the best way forward, Bruce said: “Well I believe that, I’ve been around the block a long time. That experience, (I’ve been) trying to draw on it over the last few weeks in particular.

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“So as I’ve said I’m not the type to just walk away from a bad defeat, but you’re going to have to ask others.”

Supporter group ‘Toon For Change’ said: “This evening’s result has presented Mike Ashley and the club’s management with an opportunity to justifiably sack an underachieving coach captaining a sinking ship that is heading straight for the Championship.

“If history has taught Ashley one thing, it’s that acting too late in these circumstances results in one thing, relegation.

“We implore the club to remove Bruce as coach immediately and appoint an ambitious manager ahead of the international break, who has the capability of keeping Newcastle United in the Premier League.

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“There is still hope for the club this season, but we’re running out of time. We need a decisive, brave decision – and we need it tonight”

On his position as manager, Bruce said: “As I’ve always said that’s for other people to answer. The one thing that I won’t ever do is give up on anything because we’ve had a bad defeat.

“We’ve been OK I believe, we haven’t been sensational for the last few weeks but tonight we have to accept and I have to accept the criticism that’s going to come our way and the fallout from it because we were simply nowhere near good enough on a big occasion.

“In a big game we simply haven’t done enough and of course the buck stops with me, it always does and that I have no problems (with), but of course because of the way we’ve played tonight I fully understand the frustration and the disappointment with everybody and rightly so.”

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The result leaves Brighton six points clear of the relegation zone, after securing only their second home league victory of the season.

Boss Graham Potter said: “I thought they were fantastic, really good quality, good personality on the pitch, good reactions when they lost the ball, good understanding of what we’re trying to do.

“So a good performance and a deserved three points, even though I think we still have to – as I said earlier – survive when they hit the post, but I thought over the 90 minutes we were the better team and deserved to win.”