STEVE BRUCE continues to insist that he will not walk away from his position as Newcastle United manager.

Bruce's position was called into serious question this evening as his side crashed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of relegation rivals Brighton.

Within minutes of the final whistle at the Amex Stadium, fans erected banners outside St James' Park branding Bruce a "coward" and urging Mike Ashley to dismiss the Magpies manager.

Such a move would cost Ashley around £4m in compensation payments, and the Newcastle owner has steadfastly refused to sack Bruce in the last few weeks despite mounting calls for the manager's head.

For his part, Bruce continues to insist that he will not be resigning, and remains confident his side will avoid the drop despite tonight's desperate display, which keeps them just two points clear of 18th-placed Fulham, who they meet on the final weekend of the season.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Bruce said: "We were beaten by a far better team on the night. We have to accept it and take the responsibility for it. At times, it was a little bit too easy for Brighton.

"We weren't good enough on the night. For that, I take full responsibility, like I should. It became a very difficult evening.

The Northern Echo:

"Whoever was going to get the result tonight was going to get a huge lift. We've got to dust ourselves down. Hopefully, we can get a couple back. We've got nine games to go. We've been doing well of late, to a degree.

"I've been in it a long time. We all know what's ahead of us. We're still confident we can get out of the situation we're in. I'll never give up that fight, that's for sure."