Steve Bruce has provided his take on the job Eddie Howe has done after he guided Newcastle United to Premier League safety.
Howe picked up the reigns from Bruce, who left the Magpies 19th in the table and without a win in their opening eight matches.
Former head coach Bruce was in charge for United’s first game under their new Saudi Arabian ownership - ending in a 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham - before Graeme Jones was placed in interim charge.
Howe was then appointed in November, though had to wait until the turn of the year for his methods to click, where Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn and Matt Targett (loan) were also signed in January for around £90million.
Howe’s side have picked up a total of 38 points in 2022 so far - bettered only by Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs - to lift them out of the drop zone and record an 11th placed finish.
The 49 points achieved is the club’s highest top-flight total for eight years.
Asked by FourFourTwo about Howe’s transformation of Newcastle, Bruce said: “Listen, I’ve been in the game a long time and I’m yet to hear a player say, ‘This manager’s not bad but I preferred the last one’.
“Eddie has had a lot more money to spend than I ever did, but he’s brought in some good players and improved the team. I’m very happy to acknowledge that, because Newcastle and the fans deserve the success.
Bruce oversaw around £115m investment across four transfer windows on the likes of Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, Jamal Lewis and Joe Willock.
He continued: “I worked there at a time when everyone was talking about a potential takeover, and will it or won’t it happen. The club needed new owners to come in to re-energise it, and I always knew that if it came during my watch, I probably wouldn’t be hanging around for too long.
“I just hope that a few years down the line, some of those supporters who never wanted me will look back at my time in charge and say, ‘Under the circumstances, Brucie didn’t do too bad a job after all’.
Bruce is now in charge of West Bromwich Albion, who finished 10th in the Championship despite having aspirations of an immediate return to the Premier League.