Steve Bruce's son, Alex, says his dad has been 'battered since the moment he walked through the door' at Newcastle.
Bruce took the role at his boyhood club in 2019, replacing Spaniard Rafael Benitez who was incredibly popular with the Toon faithful.
The former Manchester United player guided the Magpies to a 12th-placed finish last season, and is tipped for the sack following the 305m Saudi-led takeover of the club earlier this month.
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And Alex Bruce believes his father has been the 'fall guy' at Newcastle following the takeover, with the club sitting 18th and toying with yet another relegation threatened season.
"It's been tough. I wouldn't sit here and lie and say it hasn't, it's been really tough to watch the criticism," Alex Bruce told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily podcast.
"Since he took the job, I think the lack of respect that has been shown, considering he's done 1,000 games, has been unbelievable.¨
With Newcastle winless this season and now with huge financial backing, Bruce is expected to be ousted from the job with the club linked to big names such as Jose Mourinho, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Eddie Howe.
"A lot of things have been said about my dad," added Bruce.
"I feel a bit naff sticking up for him, but I would genuinely say for anyone who has done 999 games as a manager, 980-odd as a player, to see certain individuals question his integrity, his professionalism, his ability as a manager, questioning things like his warm-ups, his substitutions… they all make mistakes, but has he not deserved a crack?

Steven Gerrard is among the bookmakers' favourites to replace Steve Bruce at Newcastle

Image credit: Getty Images

"He's never had the opportunity at managing a club who can go and spend proper money. He's managed teams in the Premier League like Wigan, Birmingham, Hull City… his win ratio in the Premier League has been questioned umpteen times - do people really expect massive win percentages when you're managing clubs like that?
"I don't think so. I think when you're a level-headed and intelligent person, you look at the bigger picture. I think he's done a very good job at all the clubs he's managed, and I think he deserves a crack. Some of the disrespect he's been shown has been hard to watch."
Bruce was not a popular appointment with the fans who saw the Englishman as a downgrade on former manager Benitez.
While Bruce´s Premier League finishes in recent seasons have fallen just short of Benitez´s records, there are calls for him to leave the club amid pressure from fans following the club´s recent financial injection.
And his son Alex Bruce believes that he never really had a chance at Newcastle under the circumstances of his arrival.
"He knew that was going to be the case from the day he took the job," he said. "He had an owner who was trying to sell the club, he had an owner who didn't really want to put any money of his own into the club for a number of reasons, he could only use the money that the club generated and with the pandemic there wasn't any money there.
"Dad's finished round about similar (to Benitez) and yet one's been lauded as a messiah and the other one's been battered since the moment he walked in the door, which has been the most difficult thing for me to watch because he's a Geordie.x
He has been the fall guy. The amount of times I've said to him 'why don't you let someone else do the press?' and he just says 'because I'm the manager, it's my responsibility'."
Alex Bruce says the onslaught from fans and the media has been particularly difficult to watch given his dad´s love for the club, which he has supported since childhood.
"I know for a fact, no matter what people say, what Newcastle means to him as a fella. He used to crawl under the turnstiles, stand there when he was a kid with his dad, he's always supported the club.
"No matter what you say about my dad, he thinks a lot of the club and he knows more than anybody that this new ownership has needed to happen and believe me, he is absolutely delighted that it has, not just for the football club, but for the city and the supporters as well."
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