Steve Bruce has left Newcastle by mutual consent and the immediate reaction among my colleagues at True Faith is one of relief, bordering on celebration.

Bruce was, as has been well documented throughout his time at the club, never really wanted or even quietly tolerated as manager from the moment he arrived.

His record before Newcastle suggested he was on a downward trajectory in terms of his managerial career and the rumour when he did join was that he had been low down on the list of candidates.

Not only has the football, for the most part, been difficult to watch, Bruce’s selection decisions, formations and capacity to antagonise fans with prickly comments only further entrenched the animosity toward him.

He took over a limited but defensively well-organised team and left it as one with one of the worst defensive records in the league.

Although United may not have a ‘new’ manager in the dugout this Saturday against Crystal Palace, it is likely that many of those Newcastle fans with tickets for the game are feeling a lot more positive about heading to Selhurst Park now than they were immediately after the defeat by Spurs.

In terms of next steps, it is important the new ownership get in an experienced manager as soon as possible.

Eddie Howe has been mentioned frequently.

While not being the silverware-laden manager some fans might immediately hope for, he would improve players and bring a tactical intelligence that will be vital for the rest of the season.

However, for the moment the most pressing matter is the huge match on Saturday. Hopefully, Bruce leaving may have enough of a galvanising effect on the players to inspire them to victory – because the three points are desperately needed.

Norman Riley for TRUE FAITH at the BBC – click here