Merseyside not Tyneside is occupying Tigers boss Bruce’s thoughts

Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.
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IT will be business as usual this morning at Hull City despite Steve Bruce continuing to be linked with the Newcastle United job which is set to become available with Alan Pardew moving to Crystal Palace.

The Tigers are preparing to host Everton tomorrow in a crucial league clash as Yorkshire’s sole representative in the top flight look to start 2015 on a positive note. Bruce, as is customary before every Hull match, will meet the media this morning at 8.30, when he is expected to be asked about the links with the club he supported as a boy.

His focus, however, is entirely on the Everton game and then beginning preparations for Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Arsenal.

A move to the North East would have its obvious appeal for the lifelong Toon fan, but it is understood there has been no contact between anyone at the KC Stadium and Newcastle.

Sources on Tyneside have indicated that the United board are unlikely to sit down and assess their options until next week at the earliest. In the meantime, John Carver and Steve Stone will be put in temporary charge for the New Year’s Day game at home to Burnley.

The duo are also expected to be at the helm when the Magpies take on Leicester City in the Cup.

In terms of an appointment, Newcastle are unlikely to deviate from owner Mike Ashley’s master plan. Whoever succeeds Pardew, who is expected to be confirmed as Crystal Palace’s new manager today, will have to buy into the same model under which the management have had to operate in recent years.

Reports have suggested that Pardew decided to call it a day after being told there would not be significant investment in the squad during the forthcoming transfer window. It has also been suggested on Tyneside that a key player – midfielder Moussa Sissoko being the most likely – might have to be off-loaded next month.

Hull manager Bruce and Tony Pulis have both been heavily linked with the St James’ Park post. Pulis, who did such a remarkable job in keeping Palace up last season, is also believed to be on the shortlist at West Bromwich Albion as a potential replacement for Alan Irvine.

Bruce is understood to be on a one-year rolling contract at the KC, meaning any potential suitor would have to fork out a seven-figure compensation figure.

In the past, this has not been Ashley’s style – though Newcastle are likely to receive £2m from Palace for Pardew.