Newcastle United in chaos ahead of Leeds clash after training ground bust-up report and fan demonstrations
Training ground confrontation, fan demonstrations and Steve Bruce under pressure – Leeds face a club in turmoil tonight
Newcastle United’s preparations for their home game against Leeds United have been thrown into chaos amid reports of a training ground bust-up between a player and coach.
Newcastle go into the game sitting second bottom of the table, with just one point from their opening four games.
And the club appears to be in chaos after the Daily Mail reported that striker Dwight Gayle and coach Graeme Jones were involved in a conforontation on the training pitch on Tuesday.
The Mail claims the two men had to be separated by captain Jamaal Lascelles, with Gayle – who could be in line for a start tonight in the continued absence of forward Callum Wilson – going head to head with Jones, who was part of the England coaching staff during Euro 2020.
It is the latest setback to hit under-pressure Bruce, who had his own well-publicised confrontation with winger Matt Ritchie back in March.
Fans called for Bruce to be sacked during the 2-2 draw with Southampton last month, and again at Manchester United last weekend, while the manager was unhappy with the lack of backing he received in the transfer window.
In his pre-match press conference, Bruce said he wouldn’t quit, adding: “It’s not in my nature to walk away from something when we’re in a fight ... (saying) ‘oh, it’s too difficult, so I’m going to walk away’ – that doesn’t really register with me.”
An online campaign from Newcastle supporters could see further disruption to the game this evening, with demonstrations planned during the match – including potentially throwing paper aeroplanes on to the pitch.
Bielsa’s side comfortably beat Newcastle in both games last season, winning 5-2 at Elland Road and then claiming a 2-1 win in the return fixture at St James’s Park, but have yet to win this season themselves and the manager faces a selection headache for the Tyneside clash.