Steve Bruce says that Pep Guardiola is so like Sir Alex Ferguson – and will be just as angry with losing the Premier League title.
Ferguson hit the roof when Manchester United handed over their league crown to cross-town rivals City in the last seconds of the 2011-2012 season.
The Scot vowed to win it straight back, and did, the next season with his 13th Premier League title.
And Toon boss Bruce recognises a spirit in Guardiola that is kindred to Ferguson.
Bruce – unbeaten against City in nine years at the heart of Fergie’s defence – admitted: “They are both serial winners.
“When they are disappointed, when they have lost the league, they will react to it. With Liverpool winning it so early and with so many points, it will be tough for Pep.”
Toon face Guardiola’s Manchester City in the FA Cup on Sunday with Bruce expecting a backlash from the deposed champions – and his future shrouded in doubt by takeover talk at St James’ Park.
Guardiola once famously walked away from the club of his boyhood dreams when the politics of Barcelona ’s boardroom became too much.
So the City boss is a huge admirer of the way Bruce has managed to park the constant speculation about a Saudi buy-out of Mike Ashley, and the claims that his Geordie heritage mean little to the prospective new owners.
Bruce, whose first trip to Wembley was as a ballboy when Newcastle lost to City in the 1976 League Cup final, knows he is facing Guardiola at the worst possible time after a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Thursday night confirmed Liverpool as champions.
He said: “I don’t think there’s any disputing that this fella [Guardiola] is up there with the very best. Pep is so passionate about everything. To me, that’s the beauty of him.
“With Pep, whether it’s at Barcelona or Bayern Munich or Man City, he just plays a certain way which is very, very difficult to play against and very, very good to watch.
“He would do a pretty good job managing Newcastle – because that’s how good he is.”
Bruce added: “I don’t know whether this is a good time to be playing City, but we’ve got the capability to cause them problems.
“Of course you need that resilience, but at the top end of the pitch we do have players who can do some damage.”
City were held to a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park this season – and Bruce recalled that a 3-1 win against the Blues in the 1955 FA Cup Final gave Newcastle their last domestic trophy.
He said: “It has been such a long time – even before when I was around. How can a club of this stature have gone so long without winning anything?
“That’s got to be the priority, whoever is sitting in this chair, that is the remit they need to have.
“Can the club win something? Maybe it will be this year. We’ve given ourselves a wonderful opportunity. Who knows, let’s see.”
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