STEVE BRUCE has revealed he told the Newcastle owners to get rid of him before parting company with the club.
And he has also confirmed he named Steven Gerrard as a potential successor – along with Eddie Howe.
Bruce, 62, endured two torrid years in charge at St James' Park where he managed a win percentage of just 27.4 from 84 league games.
And Newcastle were 19th in the Premier League table when he left by mutual consent.
He was dismissed less than a fortnight after the Saudi consortium had taken over the club from Mike Ashley.
But he has now confirmed he instigated his own exit.
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Speaking about his conversations with the Newcastle owners following their arrival, he told the Business of Sport podcast: "I had to say to them: 'Look, you might have to take me out of the equation'.
"It's the hardest thing I ever had to say, but I realised it was for the best for the club because everything was euphoric around it. The only negative was me.
"They even asked me, and I can say this on record, they even asked me who I would recommend.
"I did recommend Eddie [Howe] and I did recommend, I hope Steven doesn't mind, but I recommended Steve Gerrard too.
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"But somebody like Eddie or Steven, young, take it on.
"It was really, really difficult. And I've never done that before – it's sort of giving up – but I realised it was best for the club."
He continued: "I thought I had to because we got beat by Tottenham after we scored early – we scored after 20 seconds or something. We got beat 3-2 off Spurs.
"It was the word 'give up' – that's the wrong word for me. I never wanted to give it up, but I realised that I had to and it was more beneficial to the club, that they needed to make a clean sweep and take the negativity out of the equation which was me."
Since the departure of Bruce, Newcastle have gone from strength to strength under Howe.
And that culminated in them qualifying for the Champions League last season.
Meanwhile, Bruce was appointed West Brom boss in February 2022 but lasted just eight months before being sacked.
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