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Lee Clark exclusive: If Newcastle must sack Bruce - do it soon

Newcastle United great Lee Clark has warned Toon fans about the prospect of sacking manager Steve Bruce.

While staying open-minded about the prospect, Clark significantly points out that twice Newcastle have found themselves in a similar prediciment in recent years and after sacking and replacing their manager have still gone down.

After Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wolves, Newcastle sit just three points above the dropzone in 17th place on the Premier League table.

Writing in his regular column for Tribalfootball.com, Clark reasoned: "You never know what could happen if you replace your manager. There's been times where it has worked and times it hasn't. It's a gamble, you're gambling every time you make a managerial change and certainly when there's the potential of what's hanging around the corner if Steve was to move on and they bring someone else in it doesn't come without risk.

"I think Steve knows that himself and knows the results have not been good and that brings you under pressure. There has to be an improvement in results certainly."

Indeed, Clark recalls how twice Newcastle sacked and replaced their managers when in a Premier League relegation battle and still went down. Four years ago it was after Rafa Benitez had been appointed following the departure of Steve McClaren. And before then, when Alan Shearer took charge after the Chris Hughton and Joe Kinnear debacle.

Clark continued: "I think the biggest fear for the Newcastle fans is that the last two times they went down, when Mike Ashley made the changes with Alan Shearer and Rafa Benitez, they weren't given enough time to get the results to try and change. It was a nigh-on impossible task that both of them faced to try and keep the club in the Premier League."

With Newcastle teetering, Magpies hero Clark says if Bruce must be removed, then Newcastle owner Mike Ashley cannot afford to hang around.

He concluded: "So I think if there is any thought process about making it then I think if they've learnt anything from the past they'd make it sooner rather than later but I don't know what their thoughts are but certainly the last two times they've done that they've gambled too late that's the decision they have to make."

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Paul Vegas

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