Sunday 17 December 2017

Bruce fears Hughton fallout

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce fears Chris Hughton's shock sacking this week will prove a deterrent to up-and-coming bosses.

Despite Newcastle being in a healthy mid-table position and within four points of eighth-placed Sunderland, Hughton became the first Barclays Premier League manager to lose his job this season.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has since wasted no time in securing a replacement, albeit an unpopular one with Magpies fans, with Alan Pardew today unveiled after signing a five-and-a-half-year deal.

Hughton's dismissal, though, is one that has Bruce still shaking his head in bewilderment three days later. His concern is mainly with the impact it could have on any prospects thinking of taking up management.

"I wish Chris all the best. I've said repeatedly he is a good guy, and unfortunately there aren't many good guys like him left any more, somebody who is a proper football person," said Bruce.

"Looking from the outside, it seems to be an unbelievable decision, and I'm sure I speak for the football world by saying that we are all saddened by Chris' departure. I don't think he deserved that.

"Of course, I wish Alan the best of luck, welcome to the north east, and I'm sure he'll find it a tough challenge.

"But decisions like those with Chris must deter a young, British or English coach.

"To get all your coaching qualifications you need now takes years, and when you look at the stats - especially in the lower divisions - a manager's average lifespan is 15, 16 months.

"If you look at what has happened to Chris, for me it will deter them."

Bruce has conceded he would have second thoughts if he was at the stage now where he was considering management.

"If I was coming to the end of my playing career I would think long and hard, even though I love the game passionately and I want to be involved in it," added Bruce.

"You expect your family to traipse around the country with you, and for them to support you, but when you look around at this industry now there seems to be chaos all of a sudden.

"So the sad thing is we might lose a young, up-and-coming manager because he will think 'what the hell's the point in getting involved in all of that?'"

The situation in general, not just at a club close to his heart in Newcastle, makes Bruce grateful for his situation at Sunderland.

"I knew it wouldn't be easy coming here because of my roots, that I would come under a bit of flak," said Bruce.

"But with the chairman and the owners we have, and the way the club is run, it is the way it should be.

"There is stability at the top, I've a chairman who understands football, and understands when there are times it is not always going to go your way.

"So with the way the club is and the way it acts, it is a role model to others. It is the way forward."

Press Association

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