Newcastle United manager

Training ground bust-ups “never end well” and it is inevitable Steve Bruce will be sacked by Newcastle United, according to Kevin Phillips.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland and England striker slammed Matt Ritchie as being “out of an order” after he called Bruce a coward.

The 60-year-old confirmed on Friday that he and Ritchie had a row following their draw with Wolves last weekend after the story was leaked to the press.

Football Insider understands the Newcastle United players are also fuming over the treatment of the Longstaff brothers amid a dressing room mutiny.

Asked whether dressing room tension means it is the beginning of the end for Bruce, Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “Yes.

“Listen, it’s always difficult, once you start arguing and the players start questioning you in training in front of people, it never ends well in my experience.

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“It doesn’t help when Newcastle are trying to stay in the Premier League and could potentially drop into the bottom three this weekend.

“You’d have to say Steve will be hugely under pressure.

“My thoughts are whatever happens on the training ground should stay on the training ground. Unfortunately, we live in an era with social media that things get leaked.

“If the player has called the manager a coward then, for me, it’s bang out of order. You can have an argument with a manager but you don’t use those kinds of words. Ritchie’s apologised so you accept it and move on.

“There’s only one outcome when the players start arguing with the manager and if you’re not getting results then it usually ends with the manager losing their job.

“It’s a big game [v West Brom] for Steve and Newcastle this weekend.

“It’s unfortunate because Steve’s had to deal with so much up there with injuries, Covid and now arguing on the training ground. Now with more injuries, it’s stacking up against him.

“He’s a fighter, he’ll give it everything at the weekend and it wouldn’t surprise me if Newcastle dig out a result but it’s going to be very difficult.”

In other news, Kevin Campbell has insisted Newcastle United’s survival hopes hinge on one player after another crushing update.