Sheffield Wednesday: This is what Chris Waddle makes of Steve Bruce's expected move to Newcastle United
Former Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United hero Chris Waddle believes people will be asking why Steve Bruce would want to jump ship and swap South Yorkshire for the North East.
Bruce admitted on Saturday that he has had talks with the St James' Park hierarchy over taking the job vacated by Rafa Benitez’s recent departure and Wednesday are currently in talks with Newcastle in an attempt to agree a compensation package.
Waddle himself says he is surprised that the former Sunderland boss is willing to leave the Owls and that Bruce ‘will have his work cut out’.
Waddle told the Mirror: “The Newcastle job is a massive challenge for Steve Bruce. Don’t get me wrong, Newcastle are a huge club, but he’s having to follow Benitez, who has been one of the most popular managers they’ve ever had.
“So he’s got his work cut out – it’s the biggest job he’s taken on.
“He’s highly regarded at Wednesday, the fans have taken to him. He had a good run late in the season and nearly got them in the play-offs. Four or five more wins and they might have been in the top six.
“Everybody is expecting good things from Wednesday. They’re in pre-season and have been to Portugal and look fit, sharp and ready to go. So to go and speak to Newcastle, a lot of people are taking a step back and asking, ‘Why?’ They’ll be upset that he wants to leave. I’m surprised by it, too, because he was starting to build a team gearing up for the Premier League.”
Waddle added, on the former Manchester United defender: “I would have thought that Old Trafford would have been the job he has always wanted. He’s managed Sunderland too, of course, which the Newcastle fans will pick up on very quickly.
“I don’t think he’s scared of a challenge, and he’s had some success at a few clubs, and not much success at others.
“I like the bloke. He talks a lot of sense and wants his players to work hard. He knows the Geordie public, which will stand him in good stead. If he keeps Newcastle up, he will have done well. But he’s not daft – if it isn’t working out, he’ll expect a lot of pressure from the fans and the owner.”