Football: Hull manager Bruce rules out Newcastle move

Hull City manager Steve Bruce has ruled himself out of the running to succeed Alan Pardew, who is believed to be on the verge of leaving Newcastle United. -- PHOTO: AFP
Hull City manager Steve Bruce has ruled himself out of the running to succeed Alan Pardew, who is believed to be on the verge of leaving Newcastle United. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Hull City manager Steve Bruce on Wednesday ruled himself out of the running to succeed Alan Pardew, who is believed to be on the verge of leaving Newcastle United.

Pardew has been given permission to speak to Crystal Palace, who sacked Neil Warnock at the weekend, and is reported to have said his farewells to Newcastle's staff and players at their training ground on Tuesday.

Bruce, 54, was a boyhood Newcastle fan and has previously expressed regret over rejecting a chance to manage the club in 2004, but he says that he is fully committed to Hull.

"People know that I am from Newcastle, I was a Newcastle supporter as a boy and it has been regurgitated since I was a 22-year-old playing for Norwich and Gillingham," he told a press conference.

"For that obvious reason, every time I am linked with them. It's very flattering as I'm a Geordie, but that's it.

"I have a job to do here and it would be wrong for me to think of anything else other than get this club out of the position we are in and that's all I am focused on."

Hull are currently above the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference alone and host Everton on New Year's Day.

Pardew, 53, has been at Newcastle since December 2010, making him the second longest-serving manager in the Premier League behind Arsenal's Arsene Wenger.

But despite enjoying the support of club owner Mike Ashley, he has never succeeded in fully winning over Newcastle's fans.

If his departure is confirmed, it will leave Ashley looking for the seventh permanent manager of his seven-and-a-half-year tenure.

Newcastle have finished 12th, fifth, 16th and 10th in Pardew's time at the club and are currently in 10th place in the table after winning 3-2 at home to Everton on Sunday.

They host second-bottom Burnley on Thursday, when assistant manager John Carver and first-team coach Steve Stone are expected to take charge of the first team.

Steve McClaren, coach of second-tier high-fliers Derby County, has also played down reports linking him with the Newcastle job.

"I think there have been about 10 (managers) linked!" he said, when asked about the speculation following his side's 2-0 win over Leeds United in the Championship on Tuesday.

"It's the speculation season and all we can do is focus on what we are doing. We've got big games coming up and a job to do here."

Meanwhile, Palace caretaker coach Keith Millen believes that Pardew, who played at Selhurst Park between 1987 and 1991, would represent a sensible appointment for the south London club.

"We've come across each other at different times with different clubs," said Millen. "I admire his record; he's got a terrific track record as a manager.

"I'm sure the fans will remember him with fond memories from what he's done here, so there's a strong link there."