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It happened to me too – Ranieri offers Steve Bruce support after Newcastle exit

·3-min read

Watford head coach Claudio Ranieri is keen to offer his support to Steve Bruce and help in any way he can after going through a similar experience to the former Newcastle boss.

Bruce left his role as Magpies manager on Wednesday, 13 days after Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-backed consortium completed their takeover of the club.

While the 60-year-old was able to manage his 1,000th game in last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham at St James’ Park, it would prove his last in the post with the new owners finally bringing his tenure at his boyhood club to an end after huge speculation before and after the match with Spurs.

Claudio Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri was sacked by Chelsea when new owners decided to make a change (Phil Noble/PA)

Ranieri faced similar scrutiny over his job at Chelsea when Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the Blues in 2003 and, despite lasting a whole season, he was sacked following a second-place finish and Champions League semi-final appearance.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton, the Italian said: “No I haven’t spoken to him, not yet but I want to congratulate him for the 1,000 matches.

“I know it will be very sad. I know what happened in this case because it happened for me in Chelsea, in Monaco and something also in Leicester. I am very close to him, so I can give support if I can.”

After Bruce was dismissed from his role at Newcastle, the former Manchester United defender spoke of the abuse he and his family receiving throughout his spell in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

He also said “this will probably be me done as a manager” but he was urged to continue by the Hornets’ new head coach.

Claudio Ranieri and Steve Bruce
Ranieri has offered his support to Steve Bruce after the latter left Newcastle (PA)

“I understand. He wanted to continue to have a chance to show his strength and to link something good. This is new football and this is it. We have to understand and put everything over our shoulder,” Ranieri insisted.

“Every manager and every person is different. When something bad is coming, I always think positive and that (bad) is over my shoulder and I look forward. I also hope Steve can do this.”

Ranieri celebrated a landmark on Wednesday, the same day Bruce left Newcastle, but did not do anything too big to mark his 70th birthday.

He added: “It was good, with my family and my wife at home. Very calm, we rested and watched the Champions League.”

There was little for Watford and their supporters to cheer last weekend in Ranieri’s first match after they suffered a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool.

Forward Joshua King could be back for the Hornets at Everton, after he recovered from the knee injury sustained against Leeds earlier in October to return to training, but Kiko Femenia is a doubt while Francisco Sierralta, Christian Kabasele and Peter Etebo are definitely unavailable.

“It wasn’t a good experience,” Ranieri said of the Liverpool defeat. “It wasn’t good for my first match in Watford but we have to react.

“We can go down in a match but I want the players to react immediately. We can lose but we have to react every time.”

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