Nicholas: Bruce doing ‘much better’ than Benitez at Newcastle

Joe Williams
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 28: during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Sunderland at Anfield on March 28, 2010 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Steve Bruce is doing “much better” than Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United, according to Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas.

The Magpies are currently sitting in 14th position in the Premier League table and they could realistically be up to eleventh if they beat Sheffield United on Thursday night.

Bruce replaced Benitez in the summer after the Spaniard left at the end of his contract.

The former Sheffield Wednesday manager has led his side to a couple of memorable victories this term with wins over Manchester United and Tottenham.

And Nicholas reckons Bruce is doing better than his predecessor with “a fairly average bunch”.

“They (Newcastle United) are very impressive away from home but lack a bit of the cutting edge,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“Steve Bruce has brought the passion back, and they are nicking points here and there. I think the Newcastle fans are accepting what Bruce can do with a fairly average bunch. He is doing a much better job than what Rafael Benitez did.”

On the job Chris Wilder is doing at Sheffield United, Bruce said in his pre-match press conference: “Over the summer, he was seeking my advice over one or two things and, before I knew it, I’m seeking advice from him!

“I’m delighted at what he’s done. There are not enough English, British coaches around and I’m delighted when somebody like him is doing so well having earned his spurs in the lower divisions, worked away for a lot of years and finally got his chance.

“He had to do it taking his home-town club from the first division into the Premier League, but he’s taken that swagger into the Premier League which his team plays with.”