Nigel Pearson and Jermaine Jenas have offered their backing to Steve Bruce after the Newcastle United boss faced up to a media storm from the national press this week.
In what has been a turbulent week for Newcastle United, reports in the national media emerged on Wednesday evening that Bruce and winger Matt Ritchie were involved in a training ground bust-up.
The report also suggested there was a 'growing feeling of resentment' towards the United boss from his players and while Bruce has confirmed his 'bust-up' with Ritchie did take place, he has labelled the rest of the report 'absolute rubbish'.
Bruce was left to bat away those suggestions in Friday's pre-match press conference and, understandably, the rift in the Magpies' camp has garnered a lot of attention ahead of Sunday's trip to West Brom, in what is a huge clash at the bottom of the Premier League table.
The United boss called the reports by a journalist from the Mail Online 'personal' and the reporter has since been banned by the club from covering its press conferences and matches.
Pressure is building on Bruce, who will be without Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron for the trip to the Hawthorns, after presiding over a run of just two wins in Newcastle's last 17 matches.
As such, BBC Radio 5Live's Friday Football Social discussed Bruce's relationship with the media at length, with guests Nigel Pearson and Jermaine Jenas both coming to the Magpies' boss' defence.
Bristol City manager, Pearson, who has previously worked as an assistant manager at Newcastle spoke of his experiences with the club's partisan fanbase, while he also spoke of his admiration and respect for Bruce.
And Jenas, who played for Newcastle between 2002 and 2005, spoke about his own experiences with the press on Tyneside in order to sympathise with Bruce's situation.
Here is a full transcript of how their conversation unfolded:
Nigel Pearson: "Steve is a very, very, experienced football manager and I have to say he is a man of fantastic humility as well.
"He is someone I admire and has lots and lots of experience. Every time I come across him he is a very decent man.
"Managers need rhino-hide at times and a very thick skin. I am amazed that I am still managing really.
"My ability sometimes to deal with personal scrutiny can be very damaging.
"In the public domain, I think it is really important to try and show an air of authority and still have the leadership qualities everybody needs in a managerial position but we are human beings.
"We all have vulnerability.
"Newcastle is such a partisan club. It amazed me when I went up there that when you walk around the city all you ever see is Newcastle shirts.
"It is ingrained in the social DNA of the area how important the football club is. Unfortunately if you are the manager of that football club it is inevitable that you are going to be subject to people's disappointments and how they emotionally feel.
"I think Steve is a very strong person and I have always had a huge respect for his integrity.
"People can like or dislike me or anybody else as a manager. Like their style, dislike their style but what I do know about how he manages is that he is very committed and he has an authenticity which is very important.
"I always hate to see my peers in those situations because I know what it was like to be on the receiving end.
"I have done some stupid things over the years that have brought about criticism and in some cases, rightly so.
"I think about some of my behaviours and they are about protecting my players as much as anything.
"What we don't really see is what is going on behind the scenes. We don't have the total facts of what is happening within in terms of the dynamics of people who work there.
"Someone with integrity tries to keep these things out of the public domain. I don't know what has gone on there. All I know is I have a lot of respect for Steve Bruce."
Jermaine Jenas: "Any time there is an incident at the football club, it always gets out.
"It is not always a situation where somebody picks up the phone and goes: 'Is that the Chronicle or the Journal, I have a story for you?' That is not what happens.
"What inevitably happens is you leave the training ground and someone will randomly have a conversation with their agent and it will be: 'I heard something happened today'.
"And you'd say: 'It kicked off at the training ground, the gaffer had an argument with Matt Ritchie, they squared up...'
"Then the agent will probably leak a few pieces to whoever they need to get a bit of a favour off or if they feel their player isn't getting enough game-time they will put pressure on the manager with these stories.
"It will come to light. If he has genuine evidence that a player has a relationship with a journalist then the evidence will show itself in time.
"The one thing I do know is that the press up there, once they have their teeth into something, they don't let go.
"We had a little stage up there when I was playing for the team where as a group of players, a lot of players were completely ignoring the press because of the personal nature of the journalism.
"There are two papers up there and it is intense. All they do is talk about Newcastle United. Front page, back page, middle page. Newcastle United, every single day.
"Once the conversation was had with players where we decided to talk to them and be nice to them, their directive completely changed.
"If we came out and said: 'You have been very aggressive in your line of questioning and that is why we have stopped talking to you for a period of time' then the headlines were always pressure and problems and we got the brunt of it.
"The minute we flipped the coin and humoured them, the nature of the stories changed and was much more forgiving. That is not journalism, that is control.
"What Steve is going through up there right now, I have lived it in a diluted version.
Recent fallout over the long-running takeover saga at Newcastle United hasn't just been the talk of Tyneside - it was the talk of the footballing world.
Now, Steve Bruce must recollect his team and push forward without the change of ownership and new backing.
However, the twists and turns aren't over, with current owner Mike Ashley 'considering all options' after the Premier League rejected the £300m takeover.
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"When the line of questioning is continuously coming at you, it is very hard to survive from a humane point of view and living your day to day life.
"That is where the crossover is dangerous for me and it goes beyond sport.
"What I do miss when I was playing, particularly at Newcastle, the press used to travel with us for Champions League games.
"They would write something on the Monday and we might have had an average game or not performed well and they would dig someone out.
"There were a couple of times where they would come for somebody like Craig Bellamy and I used to lick my lips.
"I would sit in my seat and I would watch Bellers in his seat at the front just waiting for them.
"We would sit at the front and they would sit at the back and they would come up the steps and come by us one by one and I could see Bellers lining them up and the minute he found the one he would be up out his seat and he would be like: 'You. Don't think I didn't see what you wrote,' and he would tear them apart.
"That is accountability at its best. That is why I loved him because he wouldn't take any rubbish from anyone."