Sunday Sun

Dyche defends United boss: ‘Expectatio­ns high in Toon’

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SEAN Dyche feels there is always a ‘big expectatio­n’ at Newcastle United amid the pressure growing on Magpies boss Steve Bruce.

Newcastle are on a run of just two wins in their last 21 matches that have left them just three points clear of the relegation zone.

A whopping 95% of 14,000 fans polled by the Sunday Sun’s website, Chroniclel­ive, called for Bruce to be replaced after last month’s limp display in a 3-0 defeat at Brighton but the Magpies bounced back last weekend with a spirited 2-2 draw with Totttenham.

And Dyche has defended Bruce, who was a big help to the Burnley boss during the formative years of his managerial career.

“He was very helpful to me when I very first started at Watford and he helped me with a player (Nyron Nosworthy) tremendous­ly on the financial side to get a player to us who had a big part in changing our season that season,” Dyche said.

“He was very helpful with that, saw a young manager and tried to help out where he could financiall­y because I had only so much in a budget.

“Things like that you never forget as a young manager when the older more experience­d managers help you out.

“I just think he is a really good guy, I like his company. I have met his lovely wife a number of times and they are good company.

Sometimes you forget people are human beings as well as football managers and it is nice when the mixture is right, very good football manager and a good bloke as well.”

Dyche also feels there is a ‘big expectatio­n’ at Newcastle but feels Bruce is rounded enough to deal with the building pressure.

“There is always a big expectatio­n it seems to me at Newcastle, no matter what the situation is,” he added.

“Steve Bruce is a very rounded manager and a very good manager and a good bloke as well off the pitch.

“His team have been up and down like a lot of teams. They are in the Premier League and are a very good outfit.”

A win for United today could put six points between themselves and Fulham, while also moving them to within a point of the Clarets.

As such, the importance of the visit of the Magpies has not been lost on Dyche.

“You have to target each game to win, every game is winnable,” he went on. “Some are more difficult, obviously. We attempt to win every game. Our aim is to focus on the next one.

“It is still a focus and makes some sort of story but the point at the end of season is that it is built on points.

“That remains our focus, getting to 40 points which everyone talks about which is a strong marker, and the quicker we get there the quicker we can open our minds to what comes next.”

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