Alex McLeish has hailed Steve Bruce as “amazing” for his shrewd guidance of Newcastle United in the wake of their biggest ever competitive away win.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland, Aston Villa and Rangers manager explained why Bruce is so highly rated by his peers.
McLeish explained why his predecessor as boss of Birmingham City knows how to get the best out of the players at his disposal.
He also dismissed talk from pundits and many fans that the 59-year-old is far inferior to the man he succeeded at St James’ Park, Rafael Benitez.
Asked by Football Insider for his verdict on McLeish after their 7-0 thrashing of Morecambe, McLeish said: “Amazing. Honestly, in a way I’m not amazed at Steve doing a good job because I know him very well.
“I lived quite near him in the Midlands when I was at Birmingham and he’d just left Birmingham but he was staying in the same house when he was travelling to Wigan.
“I know the quality of Steve and the type of man-manager he is, the players will love him, I’m sure, players will want to play for him because he’s got a charisma but he also knows the game inside out.
“He was getting compared to Rafa (Benitez) immediately when he arrived and the very first points he dropped it was: ‘He’s not going to be as good as Rafa’ but he proved to do even better in terms of the league position and they turned out to be quite exciting.
“I was quite enjoying watching them at the end of the season, they were quite an exciting team to watch.”
Newcastle have won three of their four matches in the new season, which have included triumphs in the EFL Cup against lower league opposition.
They are next in action on Sunday, when they travel to Tottenham for a 2pm kick-off.