(Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has rejected criticism from a section of the club's fan base that they have made no progress since he took over in 2019 and said people should judge him at the end of the season.
While Newcastle are off to their best start to a top-flight season since 2014-15, sitting 12th with 18 points from 13 games, Tuesday's 1-0 defeat by Championship club Brentford in the League Cup sparked a furious reaction, with some fans calling for Bruce to be sacked.
"Since I've walked through the door I've tried to take the club forward," Bruce said at a news conference. "It's slow, and you have to accept that people are going to say there's been no progress. I'd beg to differ, but people have their opinions."
The former Manchester United defender, who has had management stints at a long list of English clubs including Aston Villa, Sunderland and Hull City, said he had gone through hard times before and had faith his experience would see him through.
"I've been up against it before in my career. Thankfully I've been around the block a bit," he added.
"My job is about the accumulation of points over a 10-month season.
"If you're with a team expected to be in the bottom half of the Premier League it's always going to be tough. There's going to be periods when you go up and down. Unfortunately, we've had a poor week. We have to accept it."
Newcastle have a difficult set of fixtures coming up, travelling to Manchester City later on Saturday before hosting champions Liverpool and second-placed Leicester City in quick succession.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)