Newcastle United duo Isaac Hayden and Jamaal Lascelles reportedly had to be separated after exchanging words following their 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday
The alleged incident at St James’ Park comes after the Magpies’ first game under new ownership, recently being sold by Mike Ashley for £305million to a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium.
The Daily Mail claim that midfielder Hayden and captain Lascelles had a ‘furious row’ in the tunnel area and were shoving one another before team-mates and staff intervened.
Action Images via Reuters)
Despite strong reports suggesting the former Manchester United defender was set to be sacked prior to the visit of Spurs, Bruce remained in charge for his 1,000th game in management.
It started like a dream after hours of emotional build-up at the stadium, with Ashley gone after 14 dismal years for the Toon Army and Amanda Staveley‘s gang in town.
But by the 22nd minute mark, Tottenham had turned the game on its head, after Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane produced fine finishes.
Action Images via Reuters)
The match was suspended for 25 minutes just before half-time, with a fan suffering cardiac arrest in the stand and referee Andre Marriner taking the players off the pitch as the medical emergency was attended to.
Proceedings resumed once the supporter was stabilised and made his way to hospital, with Heung-Min Son quickly extending Tottenham’s advantage.
In the second half, Eric Dier ‘s own goal in the last minute of normal time have the 10-man Magpies hope – even after they lost Jonjo Shelvey to a second yellow card six minutes earlier.
But Nuno Espirito Santo ‘s men came away from Tyneside as victors, with Bruce admitting his outfit were “beaten by the better team.”
“Problems that we’ve had for a while now defensively were there for all to see unfortunately,” bemoaned the 60-year-old when speaking to Sky Sports.
“We’ve started a few games like that, we’ve got off to a good start and scored, got our noses in front, unfortunately we’re not able to defend well enough as a team.
“From front to back at the moment, we’re not defending well enough. We’ve tried to change, to be more on the front-foot if that’s the right word you say these days, but it’s difficult because you get yourself having to score three goals to win a match.”
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Winless after eight top-flight matches, his side are well and truly in yet another relegation battle.
“Have we not been in that for five of the last six years? I would think so,” Bruce added.
“We’ve been up against it since I picked up the reins. To finish 12th and 13th, I found that very respectable for where we are at the moment.
“I’m still convinced we’ll win a relegation battle again, but of course if you’re in the bottom half of the division, then you’re in a relegation battle, if that’s the way you want to put it so early.”