Steve Bruce has been very much in the spotlight since he became Newcastle United boss back in 2019 but the glare has intensified markedly since the recent takeover, with widespread speculation suggesting the new owners were set to dispense with his services.

However, Bruce will get the chance to take charge of his 1,000th game after it was confirmed that he will still be in the dugout when Tottenham Hotspur visit St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon (Newcastle 13/5, Draw 11/4, Spurs 11/10 – Match Betting).

Whether it is merely a temporary stay of execution remains to be seen but Bruce can at least celebrate the milestone, he will be hoping with a win, which would be a first for the Magpies this season, who have lost four and drawn three of their first seven Premier League games to lie in 19th in the table.

There is certainly no guarantee that the former Sunderland Wigan boss will see out the season, with part-owner Amanda Staveley admitting that “change doesn’t happen overnight”. However, the 60-year-old can do no more than put points on the board before the seemingly inevitable axe falls.

Stavely said in a club statement: “We met Steve and the players on Monday and have given them the time and space this week to focus on preparing for what is a very important game on Sunday.

“Steve has been very professional in our dealings with him and he and his coaching team will take the team on Sunday.

“If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know but, in the meantime, we wish him the best of luck in his 1,000th match as a manager and will be joining you in getting right behind the team.”

For his part, Bruce has certainly not given up on the chance to stake his claim to remain in the position in the long term, and he remains hopeful that he can secure the necessary results to persuade the new owners (Newcastle 2/1 to be relegated).

“I’ll have a crack and try my utmost, who wouldn’t want this opportunity?” Bruce said. “Any manager would love to sit in my chair, so I will make a fist of it and try my utmost. I will try my best for the club.”

Paul Dummett remains sidelined for the visit of Spurs but Bruce will be hoping Callum Wilson, Jamaal Lascelles, Joe Willock and Martin Dubravka could be fit enough to return.

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