'Mediocre' Steve Bruce move to Newcastle could all backfire - ex-Sunderland striker's damning verdict

Former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra believes Steve Bruce's decision to leave Sheffield Wednesday "could all backfire".

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 11:34 am
Former Newcastle United and Sunderland striker Michael Chopra

The 58-year-old is expected to take the reigns at St James' Park after resigning as Owls boss on Monday, with an official announcement expected today.

A huge amount of optimism surrounded Hillsborough when Bruce joined in early February with the aim of mounting a promotion push during the upcoming campaign.

Instead, Wednesday are left managerless less than four weeks until the start of the season.

It's a decision Chopra, who made 21 appearances for his boyhood club Newcastle, believes could leave Bruce flat on his face.

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"It's a tough one for him. He's like myself, a Newcastle fan, a Geordie, and you want to be back home," he told Talk Sport.

"Steve will always be thinking he's the right man for the job and why not, you have got to have confidence in yourself.

"But if it doesn't go right he's thinking 'what if I'd stayed at Sheffield Wednesday, we were on the verge of the play-offs last year and could have had a chance this year'.

"It could all backfire."

While the Owls will be hoping to avoid any turmoil in the aftermath of Bruce's departure, the Magpies themselves are a club in crisis.

The departure of popular manager Rafa Benitez, coupled with declining takeover talk and no new signings has again left fans furious with owner Mike Ashley.

Like most Magpies supporters, Chopra says it is an underwhelming appointment, branding Bruce a "mediocre Championship manager".

He added: "If you're in Steve Bruce's shoes, a Newcastle fan, and Newcastle comes calling, you're going to take the job.

"On the other side, the fans don't want him. It's hard, they've gone from Rafa Benitez, a world-class manager and one of the best in Europe, to - and no disrespect to Steve Bruce - but he's a mediocre Championship manager now, he's not good enough for the Premier League, especially not Newcastle United.

"That's what's been most disappointing for the fans. There's been talk of Mourinho, Vieira, all these big names, and now they've gone to Bruce. I don't even think he was their first job, Allardyce was, and now they've had to go to Brucey."