Steve Bruce asks Newcastle players to avoid social media after Willock abuse

Newcastle United's Joe Willock is presented to the fans before the match against West Ham United at St James’ Park in Newcastle August 15, 2021. — Picture via Utusan Borneo
Newcastle United's Joe Willock is presented to the fans before the match against West Ham United at St James’ Park in Newcastle August 15, 2021. — Picture via Utusan Borneo

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LONDON, Aug 20 — Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce on Friday urged his players to avoid social media after newly-signed midfielder Joe Willock said he had considered quitting the platforms after being subjected to “disgusting” racist abuse online.

The 22-year-old Willock, who completed a £25 million (RM144.2 million) move from Arsenal last week, said he received abusive messages daily and called on social media companies to do more to combat the problem.

Bruce told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match at Aston Villa: “I’ve often said to the players... they should be avoiding it. That’s the sad part of society we’re in, that people can... racially abuse, whatever they want to do.

“In my opinion, it’s a dark place... social media. People should be made accountable for what they write and my advice to them all (the players) would be to stay off it. There’s certain gains to it but there’s more of the other side.

“I’ve been witness to some of the stuff that’s been written about me that’s absolutely shameful and ridiculous. So a young lad or a young girl getting it... for me it’ll have to be policed better.”

Newcastle, who lost 4-2 at home to West Ham United in their Premier League opener, will again be without first choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka due to injury while back-up Karl Darlow is still recovering from Covid-19.

“Martin, unfortunately, the injury he’s had has become infected which will set him back another few weeks... those two are still a long way off,” Bruce said, adding that midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was also out with a calf injury. ― Reuters

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