Newcastle owner Mike Ashley remains in support of under pressure Steve Bruce

Despite growing calls for Newcastle boss Steve Bruce to be sacked, owner Mike Ashley is reportedly still in support of the coach.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley remains in support of under pressure Steve Bruce

VAR excuses

A devastating defeat to Sheffield United was the final straw for many Newcastle supporters, amid mounting calls for the sacking of Steve Bruce.

The Magpies were toothless in their bout with the Blades, who recorded their first win of the entire Premier League season just before the halfway mark on Tuesday. Yet, it was a controversial penalty which ultimately handed the hosts the lead which they went on to desperately cling on to. Bruce was not happy about the VAR decision, and even went as far as to suggest that the technology is ruining the game:

“I have to say the decision for the penalty is poor,” the Newcastle boss told Sky Sports. “I’m asking the referee now why when he doesn’t give it to start with he says Fedi’s intentionally handled it, I don’t see how he can say that – when you’re running, your arms are going to move, and it looked a foul to me. Billy Sharp’s got a hold of his shirt.

“I thought the referee got it spot on when he didn’t give it, if that’s intentional handball and VAR’s supposed to be clear and obvious. The big clear and obvious one, I don’t want to see people sent off but Billy Sharp’s challenge on Fabian Schar was a disgrace.

“He’s lucky that he hasn’t done any serious damage to him. Those clear and obvious ones are supposed to be why VAR is here. We’ve spoken about it too much, we might not have got anything from the game but for it to be decided on something like that is poor.”

Whether VAR was right or wrong in their match-deciding decisions on Tuesday, excuses will do little to temper the frustration of the Newcastle faithful.

Ashley backs Bruce

Despite the mounting pressure, however, Magpies owner Mike Ashley has reportedly provided his backing to Steve Bruce. Northeast Sky Sports correspondent Keith Downie has assured that the Sports Direct magnate would only consider removing the former Manchester United star from his role should Newcastle be dragged into a relegation battle:

“Steve Bruce retains the support of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, despite fans calling for him to be sacked following defeat to bottom of the table. However Ashley’s patience would be expected to run thin if Newcastle were dragged into a dog fight for PL survival,” said Downie.

Even further pressure, though, could soon grow, with a tough stretch of fixtures on the horizon. In their next 7 games, the Magpies will face Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United, along with high-flying Southampton. Meetings with Leeds and Crystal Palace between such daunting ties will likely prove crucial to Newcastle’s hopes of remaining clear of the battle for survival.

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

Newcastle betting odds, next game:

Everton vs Newcastle odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Everton vs Newcastle Full time result
Everton vs Newcastle Result/Both teams score Yes No
Everton 13/5 13/10
Newcastle 12/1
Draw 5/1 10/1
Everton vs Newcastle Correct Score
Everton vs Newcastle Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Dominic Calvert-Lewin7/4 7/4 10/11
Cenk Tosun5/2 5/2 5/4
de Andrade Richarlison5/2 5/2 5/4
Callum Wilson10/3 10/3 13/5
Anthony Gordon4/1 4/1 21/10

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