Sensational reports emerged out of Newcastle United on Wednesday night claiming there had been a training ground bust-up between manager Steve Bruce and Matt Ritchie.
According to the Daily Mail, Bruce barged into Ritchie after he was called a “coward” by the player.
After Bruce confronted the Scot and said: “After all I've done for you,” Ritchie replied: "You've done f*** all for me."
Bruce then said “What are you going to do? Tell Lee Charnley?” - a reference to Bruce’s suspicion that players have been complaining to the managing director about him.
The clash stems back to Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday and the incident that led to an equaliser for the opposition.
Bruce blamed Ritchie for not passing on the message of a tactical switch quick enough. It led to confusion and players being out of position as Wolves broke and made it 1-1.
It was an incident that Jamie Carragher dissected on Monday Night Football. And in the aftermath of the training ground clash, it certainly makes for fascinating viewing.
Ritchie clearly doesn’t pass on the information he was asked to and it left Bruce and coach Graeme Jones screaming on the touchline. Seconds later, Wolves won back possession and capitalised on the confusing in the Newcastle ranks.
The report suggests that Ritchie phoned Bruce after the match to speak to him about his post-match comments. Bruce said that he’d speak to him in training on Tuesday, which angered the player.
On Tuesday, when assistant manager Steve Agnew asked Ritchie that Bruce was ready to see him in his office, he refused and said he wasn’t speaking to the “coward” again.
Bruce was fuming and went to confront Ritchie which is when the clash took place.
It’s believed the players have sided with Ritchie with many having a feeling of ‘resentment’ towards Bruce.
One source told the Daily Mail: "There has long been an inquest into who has been leaking stories from the training ground and the manager has stood back and watched players and staff accuse each other, yet he is the biggest leak of all. Most of the players do not trust him and do not like him."
With Newcastle embroiled in a relegation battle and this damaging report, it’s hard to see Bruce being at St James’ Park for too much longer.