TWO games into the new season and few managers are under the sort of scrutiny which pins to Steve Bruce.

Amid all the furore and backdrop of the relationship - or lack of it – between the previous manager and chairman which led to his exit for the riches of China, Bruce has had to contend with plenty.

Back to back defeats, one as insipid as can be at Norwich last weekend, merely piles on the pressure.

And it’s not likely to get much better this weekend, as Bruce takes his side to Tottenham Hotspur.

“Am I regretting this job? Absolutely no-chance,’’ he mused in the media room at the club’s Benton training ground.

While Bruce was quick to dismiss the thoughts of Michael Chopra, who claimed this week he was told by players that they are not being drilled into tactical shape on the training ground, he also has had one of his own defenders admitting the defeat to Norwich last weekend was inevitable after a poor pre-match warm-up at Carrow Road.

Paul Dummett claimed the players went into the defeat after the warm-up “wasn’t right”.

Bruce was offended by the reaction to Dummett’s comments and defended his coaches and staff in an at times spiky press conference on Friday morning.

“I think Paul clarified it himself in the week,’’ he stated. “Maybe people should ask him. There’s no insinuation that myself or my staff can’t take a warm-up? Really? I think Paul used Twitter to clarify his comments.

“My concern was we didn’t perform well enough, full stop, end of story. If the warm-up isn’t right, then come on – are we really going to analyse a warm-up?

“Is it a concern about a warm-up? I was more concerned about the game. We can all warm-up badly can’t we?

“He is entitled to his opinion of course, my take is the performance on the pitch. The lads – Steve Agnew and Steve Clemence – have been taking warm-ups for 20 years….

“Was there a mentality problem? If they detected they weren’t right and took it on the pitch then it’s concern, of course.

“I hope no-one is insinuating that myself and the staff aren’t capable of taking a warm-up then it’s difficult.’’

If Bruce took a defensive stance over what Dummett said, then he was on the attack when it came to Chopra.

The retired striker was critical of the appointment of Bruce and went a step further in midweek.

But in response, Bruce claimed: “The Chopra thing was laughable, blown out of all proportion.

“I’m surprised people take any attention to it. Some of the stuff is fabricated and lies- why is that making national headlines, when it’s total rubbish?

“And for Michael Chopra to be sensationalised? I’m sorry, it’s totally wrong and basically lies. Fabricated and it escalates and it’s ridiculous.

“People want to create nonsense, which it was.

“Chopra can he be ignored? I would expect him to be. Who is he? Absolute lies and we all know why he’s on the radio. Newcastle legend who played 20 times for the club… If it’s Alan Shearer? Bring it on….’’

Bruce had his players in on Sunday after the Carrow Road debacle, but Bruce insisted it wasn’t punishment or a reaction to defeat, just all part of the art of management.

He said: “The lads have trained well and we look forward to Sunday. The lads were fine with Sunday’s session, I don’t know where that nonsense comes from – it’s something I’ve done before in the past and here it’s sensationalised unfortunately.

“I never give details about being on or off, no schedule. I don’t have we are this day, off that one – it’s not me. To earn a day off, you have to perform.’’

In the face of criticism, the well-travelled manager admitted: “I love the fight of it. When it gets unfair, that’s where I get disappointed. I could have given it a load of bullshit last Saturday, all the flannel. I say it the way it is, because I was totally disappointed with the performance.

‘I never give up the fight for it, that’s in me. No-one else in the country would be under the spotlight that I feel as if I’m under at the minute. It is what it is, I knew it, I have to accept it. I could have said no. I’m prepared to roll up my sleeves and I hope the team respond the right way, I’m sure they will do.

‘I’ve had to work and fight to be a player, coach and manager. It’s never come easy. I have to work every day, I’m not afraid of that.

‘I’ve been in the game a long time and have been beaten badly lots. I hope my record stands up with team I’ve managed in the PL, smaller clubs than this, I’ve always managed to do okay. I hope I can do the same here.’’