Jose Mourinho should offer Steve Bruce brutal advice as under-fire managers meet

Steve Bruce will break with tradition this afternoon and find himself with a friend to talk to inside St James' Park.

How he needs one too, considering the wretched time Bruce is having at Newcastle.

Two league wins since Christmas have left the Magpies flirting with relegation and people turning their backs on Bruce in droves.

In a season of huge lows, Bruce found himself plummeting new depths this week when the local newspaper ran a poll revealing 95 per cent of fans wanted him sacked.

The problem for Bruce is that the man who does all the hiring and firing on Tyneside couldn't care less – and has decided to keep him in a job. So the torture for Bruce continues.

But at least he will have the ear of someone this weekend who knows what it's like to sit on managerial Death Row, when Jose Mourinho comes to town.

Like Bruce, Mourinho has been treading on thin ice himself this season, albeit in different circumstances.

Just two weeks ago these two rivals and big pals topped the bookies list of favourites when it came to who would be the next top flight boss to be sacked.

The duo are both battle-hardened from all the punches football has thrown at them and wear the scars of long careers in the game.

It's difficult not to admire the longevity of them and they have a lot in common.

In Bruce's case, he deserves huge credit for continuing to stare down the eye of the storm that has now engulfed him.

It has been suggested the easiest thing to do would be to quit on his stool, walk away from St James' Park and leave all the aggro behind.

It's a fair point because Bruce doesn't need the wages – and he certainly doesn't need the hassle of working at a club which neglects progress in favour of accepting survival as success.

All Bruce is doing is pushing water uphill – and where's the fun in that?

So should Bruce turn to Mourinho for some advice before or after the Magpies host Tottenham today in a game of huge significance at both ends of the table, the Portuguese could do worse than tell his opposite number this.

Mourinho should tell Bruce to do everything in his power to keep his team up, then tell Mike Ashley to stuff his job before his owner has time to wield the axe.

Eddie Howe appears to be taking a leaf out of Brendan Rodgers's book.

Howe is closing in on becoming the next Celtic boss following advanced talks with the Scottish club.

The former Bournemouth boss, 43, has held discussions with members of the club's board, including major shareholder Dermot Desmond.

Howe left the Cherries in 2020 following relegation to the Championship and has been waiting for a place to rehabilitate himself ever since.

Rodgers did the same thing in 2016 after being sacked by Liverpool – and went on to win countless trophies north of the border.

He then returned to English football and is doing a cracking job at Leicester.

Howe, once touted as a possible England boss, will be hoping to achieve similar success himself in Glasgow.

But the difference now is that Celtic are no longer the dominant force in Scottish football, which has now become a two horse race instead of just one.

Unlike Rodgers, he won't have things all his own way, so it will be interesting to see if Howe is actually capable of succeeding outside of his comfort zone and is as good a boss as people used to think he was.

GOOD WEEK FOR

Declan Rice – The West Ham ace has now established himself as an indispensable member of Gareth Southgate's England team ahead of the Euros.

Robert MacIntyre – The Scottish golfer can look forward to heading to Augusta later this week for his first Masters after remaining inside the world's top 50 to secure his place at the iconic tournament.

Kevin Sinfield – The Rugby League legend continues to raise millions for suffers of motor neurone disease, in a show of humanity and kindness that is not matched in sport.

BAD WEEK FOR

George Flanaghan – The Bradford Bulls hooker has made a right balls to the start of his new season after getting himself a 10-match ban for grabbing an opponent's testicles.

Sergio Ramos – The Spanish legend will miss both legs of Real Madrid's Champions League quarter final with Liverpool after suffering a calf problem.

Jofra Archer – The England cricket star has undergone surgery on his hand after damaging it while cleaning out a fish tank at his home in January. What a berk.

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