Soccer-Newcastle's Bruce says he is not bulletproof amid dismal run

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v Leeds United - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 26, 2021 Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce reacts Pool via REUTERS/Lee Smith

(Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce said on Friday he is not "bulletproof" but does not require any reassurance about his immediate future at the club amid a spell of poor results.

A 2-1 defeat by Leeds United on Tuesday extended Newcastle's winless run in all competitions to 11 matches with the club 16th in the Premier League after 20 games and the pressure mounting on Bruce to turn their fortunes around.

"I wouldn't expect to be bulletproof. No, I don't need any reassurance. We're in the Premier League, and we're judged on results. They haven't been good enough at the moment," Bruce told a news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton.

Bruce said he had the support of fans but acknowledged that five straight league defeats have tested their patience.

"I can bring you in a pile of letters I signed yesterday. People wishing me good luck, telling me to keep bashing away. Not all doom and gloom but I understand their frustration totally," Bruce added.

Bruce was hired in 2019 as Rafa Benitez's replacement and guided them to 13th last season, but he has failed to make progress despite bolstering the squad with the signings of Callum Wilson, Jamal Lewis and Ryan Fraser.

The 60-year-old said he was hopeful of completing a couple of loan deals before the January transfer window shuts.

"I've got one or two calls to make to certain managers in the next 24 hours but, as I predicted, I knew it was going to be a difficult window," Bruce added.

Federico Fernandez will miss the trip to Everton while fellow defenders Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett are back in training.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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