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

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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

The devastating defeat to Sheffield United was the final straw for many Newcastle supporters who have gradually been increasing in number calling for the sacking of boss 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 point. Yet it was a controversial penalty which ultimately gave Sheffield a lead which they desperately clung onto. Bruce was not happy about the VAR decision and even claimed it was ruining the game.

“I have to say the decision for the penalty is poor,” Bruce said to 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 or not VAR was wrong or right in the decisions which the officials at Stockley Park decided upon, the excuses will do little to temper the frustration of the Newcastle faithful.

Ashley backs Bruce

Despite the continual growth of pressure, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has reportedly given his backing to Steve Bruce in the present. The northeast Sky Sports correspondent Keith Downie wrote on his social media that the Sports Direct magnate would only consider removing the former Manchester United player from his role should Newcastle get 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.

The pressure could soon grow with a series of matches including very tough opposition. In the next 7 games the Magpies play Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United along with high-flying Southampton. Matches against Leeds and Crystal Palace between these tough ties will be crucial to where Newcastle sit coming end of this run.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester United FC 17 10 36
2 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
3 Leicester City FC 17 10 32
4 Everton FC 17 7 32
5 Tottenham Hotspur FC 16 14 29
6 Manchester City FC 15 11 29
7 Southampton FC 17 7 29
8 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
9 Chelsea FC 17 11 26
10 West Ham United FC 17 3 26
11 Arsenal FC 17 1 23
12 Leeds United 17 -3 23
13 Crystal Palace FC 17 -7 22
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 18 -7 22
15 Newcastle United FC 17 -9 19
16 Burnley FC 16 -12 16
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 17 -7 14
18 Fulham FC 15 -10 11
19 West Bromwich Albion 17 -28 8
20 Sheffield United FC 18 -20 5
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 11
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 5
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 5

Source: 101greatgoals.com