Anthony Hudson explains how close he came to Newcastle United job

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce gestures from the touchline during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle...

Newcastle United got in touch with ex-New Zealand coach Hudson before the Magpies hired Steve Bruce as Rafa Benitez's replacement.

New Zealand's coach Anthony Hudson walks from the field at half-time during the World Cup football qualifying match between New Zealand and Peru at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on...

Anthony Hudson has admitted to talkSPORT that Newcastle United did contact him about potentially replacing Rafa Benitez at St James' Park before they turned to Steve Bruce.

The cynics were quick to scoff at claims from TEAMtalk that Hudson was in the mix to take over at one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.

After all, the 38-year-old had left Colorado Rapids just one month earlier after winning eight of his 46 games in charge of the MLS outfit. Hudson has also coached Newport County and Bahrain while taking New Zealand to the Confederations Cup and few thought that he was ready for a big job in the English top-flight.

 

But, according to the man himself, there was indeed interest from St James’ Park.

“I didn’t speak to the club, (but) I had someone reach out to me,” Hudson said on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast (3 September, 9.30am), hinting that he’d have taken the role if he’d been offered it.

“They wanted a young coach, they didn’t want a ‘manager’ and they thought I’d be the right fit. I don’t think you can turn that down (the Newcastle job).”

New Zealand's national soccer team coach Anthony Hudson, speaks during a press conference in Lima on November 14, 2017 on the eve of the 2018 World Cup qualifying play-off second leg match...

Hudson is a self-confessed disciple of Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa after watching his Athletic Bilbao team tear Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United apart in the 2012 Europa League.

A promising young coach who Harry Redknapp once compared to Jose Mourinho during his time in charge of Tottenham’s reserves (BBC), Hudson would have been a risky appointment but a potentially inspired one.

Instead, the Magpies went down the so-called ‘safe’ route of handing the experienced Steve Bruce yet another chance in the top flight. With four points from four games, it remains to be seen whether that was the right decision.

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

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