Steve Bruce breaks silence on Matt Ritchie training ground bust-up

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce (Pool via REUTERS)

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has broken his silence on his training ground row with midfielder Matt Ritchie.

It was claimed that the pair had clashed in the wake of Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Wolves and the 60-year-old has revealed that there was a heated exchange.

Ritchie went on to apologise with the matter now considered closed by club, player and manager.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s crucial trip to West Brom, Bruce confirmed the incident.

“Look, there’s no denying that I’ve had a row with Matt Ritchie, but let me tell you that happens up and down training grounds every other week,” he said.

“You’re dealing with 25 men, emotions run high, fiercely competitive – these things happen unfortunately, and unfortunately for us with Newcastle, of course it gets blown to all sort of proportions.

“Matty apologised. As far as we’re concerned and me personally, it’s over.”

Bruce, however, was swift to deny claims that he himself had leaked a story that he was to replace keeper Karl Darlow with Martin Dubravka ahead of last weekend’s game.

He added: “If I thought I would do that, I would resign tomorrow. It’s simply not true.

“It’s unfair on Karl and arguably, over the last 18 months, that’s been the most difficult decision I’ve had to make.”


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