By Frank McAvennie

1st May, 2021 | 7:53am

Pundit verdict on Ashley sacking Bruce as Newcastle manager for next season named

Steve Bruce will still be the manager of Newcastle United next season as Premier League status is almost secured. 

That’s according to former Celtic and West Ham forward Frank McAvennie, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Mike Ashley’s plans.

Bruce, 60, is not a popular man on Tyneside and the majority of the Newcastle fanbase want to see him lose his job at the end of the season.

The Magpies sit nine points clear of the relegation zone with five Premier League games left to play after a surprise win against West Ham and a shock draw against Liverpool in their last two outings.

However, Newcastle’s performances have been underwhelming and a Carabao Cup loss to a weak Brentford team means Bruce is still under pressure.

McAvennie insists that Bruce will keep his job as he has achieved his primary target of keeping Newcastle in the Premier League.

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“Mike Ashley will keep Steve Bruce on now it looks like Newcastle are safe,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“I don’t know many managers who would like to go in there and work with Ashley, that’s a problem. 

“Listen, they are safe now and they could get rid of Bruce but nothing will change as long as Ashley is there. So what’s the point?

“He’s not going to pump money into the club, he’ll give just enough to keep them in the league. 

“It’s an incredible way to run a football club, I really don’t get that.”

Bruce replaced Rafael Benitez in the summer of 2019, a move that was very unpopular with the majority of the Newcastle fanbase.

Newcastle are next in action on Sunday afternoon as they welcome Arsenal to St James. Park.

In other news, a former Premier League referee has been left baffled after a Newcastle United star escaped a lengthy ban.