EXCLUSIVE

Darren Bent has said that he would “hate to see” Steve Bruce take charge as Newcastle United manager as he urges the Sheffield Wednesday to remain at Hillsborough this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland and England striker says that the uncertainty at St James’ Park should ward the 58-year-old off replacing Rafael Benitez in the dugout, tipping the Owls for a successful Championship campaign next season.

The Telegraph report that Bruce wants to take over on Tyneside, having been born in the north east and raised as a boyhood Newcastle fan, and that it would take a last-minute complication for his move not to come off.

However, Bent has insisted that his former manager should recognise the almost impossible situation he is facing at Newcastle and how he could enjoy a much more fruitful managerial stint at Wednesday.

“I think he’s a good manager, I just worry for Steve Bruce that considering he’s only been at Sheffield Wednesday for not even a year,” Bent told Football Insider.

“I think he needs to get Sheffield Wednesday up there, do what he needs to do at a special club like Sheffield Wednesday, I’ve always liked them, but Newcastle at the moment are on uneven ground. 

“I’d hate to see him go to Newcastle. He’d get off to a bit of a rocky start, the fans would be on his back, then they start bringing in the Mackem connection and then all of a sudden it doesn’t last. If I was Steve Bruce I’d say ‘Thank you very much’ but stay at Sheffield Wednesday.

“He’s in a stable situation. This season I think they’ll (Wednesday) be up there challenging, they’ve got a brilliant fanbase, got some good players and they’ll be in contention for promotion. Who knows, the opportunity might come around again.

Bruce only took charge at Sheffield Wednesday back in February, having been out of work since leaving Aston Villa in October 2018.

In his 18 matches with the Owls last season, Bruce managed them to seven wins, eight draws and just three defeats, two of which came to sides who finished in the play-off spots.

In other Newcastle United news, Bent has tipped the club to sell one of their prize assets to Aston Villa.