GIVEN the regularity of managers losing their jobs in English football and the challenging circumstances in which he took over at Newcastle United in the summer, Steve Bruce is relieved to have reached another international break still in charge at St James’ Park.

Corbridge-born Bruce has admitted that he is in his “dream” post as head coach on Tyneside, highlighting why he agreed to work under the club’s vilified owner Mike Ashley when many Geordies claim they would have run a mile.

The first few months of his tenure at Newcastle have arrived with plenty of problems too, given how the former Sheffield Wednesday boss has had to deal with criticism of his tactics and knowledge of the game at times - even though supporters have tended to sway from getting on his back publicly.

But, generally speaking, Bruce has not made a bad start at Newcastle and last weekend’s victory at West Ham United lifted them four points clear of the relegation zone and continued a decent run of one defeat from their last four.

If Newcastle can defeat Bournemouth this afternoon then they will move to within a point of the seventh-placed Cherries, not that Bruce is focusing on that.

He said: “I think some of us look at October, November, and think we have gone past that hurdle of getting the sack. I shouldn’t say that but a lot of managers think we have to get to the breaks, we have to get past the other break.”

Paul Tisdale was the 17th managerial casualty of the season inn English football, while only Javi Gracia has lost his job in the Premier League so far.

“Well the breaks are always the time when managers are sacked. How often does it happen? It gives the clubs two weeks to get a new manager and it always seems to happen then,” said Bruce.

“So, all of us, say, ‘Let’s get through that first one in September’. You usually get away with that one. October is a bad month, and this flaming one at the end of November is awful! This time last year I was on a beach.

“Look in all of it, we know in the job that unfortunately, it happens and as I said, I always look out for the ones at the other end of the spectrum.

“The Premier League and the Championship will always look after itself, but the younger ones in particular who just have a crack at it and it doesn't quite happen for them and they don't get time like we used to, I always find it difficult.

“I don't know how many have gone this year. Seventeen? There you go, it's ridiculous and by Christmas, there'll be another 17 as well, so it's tough, it's a tough gig.

“One in the Premier League? I always feel for the ones at the other end because everybody thinks there's a roundabout that you get back on, and some people work extremely hard, do all their badges, do everything properly and then get one crack at it and it doesn't quite go their way and all of a sudden, they're looking at a different profession.

“I always look at that and think it puts people off and certainly when I was younger, I didn't adapt that very well. I just used to spit my dummy out and walk out, basically. It's very, very difficult.”

The proverbial knives were certainly being sharpened for Bruce after the 5-0 drubbing at Leicester City at the end of September, but since then he has seen the reaction he wanted from his players.

As well as defeating Manchester United, there was a draw with Wolves and last week’s win at West Ham to bring a few smiles back. Even the defeat at Chelsea was only by the one goal.

“After the 5-0? Pressure? Well, in your real tough times, then the only thing you can do as a manager is say, 'how can I get them to react? We need a reaction to it and it can't be another performance like that, otherwise everybody is in trouble'. I think that's when you earn your dough,” said Bruce.

“You always need the next game to come up quickly. You probably need it on the Tuesday, if the truth be known. It's always a good saying: 'there's always a game, there's always next week', and that's the one about football.”

But Bruce is determined to stay in this job for the long term. “Is it the dream job? Yes, possibly, but I always knew it was going to be difficult,” he said.

“Of course, being a Geordie and one of them, I have got the dream I suppose. I never quite got there as a player - I would have loved to have done that - and it nearly happened but it didn't quite happen.

“When the phone call came, I thought, 'wow, I've got to have a crack at that and have a go'. Of course, you want the stadium to be the way it was against Man United for the last 20 minutes, half an hour, where we got a glimpse of what it really is. We can only do it with results - that's the only thing - so let's hope we can get a few more.”