Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has revealed that he encouraged Steve Bruce to turn down the opportunity of becoming the next boss on Tyneside - but his words fell on deaf ears.
Bruce resigned from his post at Sheffield Wednesday on Monday morning and was officially appointed as Newcastle manager on Wednesday, the same day that his new side lost 4-0 to Wolves in the pre-season Asia Trophy tournament in China.
Bruce is aware of the monumental task ahead of him and his staff, and Shearer wrote in The Sun that he had warned the former Manchester United defender of the repercussions of taking the job over dinner.
“My advice to him that night was simple: ‘No, no, no, don’t take it,’ Shearer wrote in his column. “I said: ‘Why are you going to be any different to Keegan or Benitez? If you take it, you must be mad because you know how it works there.’
“He was not Newcastle’s first choice to replace Rafa. He might not even have been their second, third or fourth pick.
“It looks more like he could have been the last man standing — and Newcastle just knew he would probably take the job because he has always wanted it.”
Shearer was unequivocal in warning Bruce that he must shoulder the blame if he is unable to win over the supporters and continue Benitez's work.
He added: “But Steve can have no excuses at all if it goes wrong because he knows exactly what he is taking on.
“He knows what is going on and what has gone on in the past. He knows how fed-up the fan-base is."
“He knows how the football club is run, it is not a secret any more. This is without a doubt the toughest and most toxic situation Steve has ever walked into.”
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Bruce's arrival has been greeted with great pessimism amongst the Magpies' fanbase, and he will need a winning start to his managerial career to gain the faith of the Geordie following.