Newcastle boss Steve Bruce reveals fans have wished DEATH on him from Covid-19 amid Toon turmoil after Mike Dean threats

STEVE BRUCE has been told by vile online abusers they hope he dies of Covid.

The Newcastle boss opened up on the disgusting death threats as he revealed crocked 10-goal top scorer Callum Wilson will be sidelined for the next two months.

Bruce's admission comes after referee Mike Dean received similar threats to his life, in addition to a string of high-profile players being targeted for sick online racial abuse.

Bruce said: "Some of the abuse has been vile and obscene, it really has. There have been death threats, I'm not sure how far back it goes to be honest. I just know that in conversations with my family over the last few days talking about Mike Dean's situation, it was brought to my attention that I've had it too.

"It's really horrible stuff, which I couldn't really get my breath with. Things like someone saying they hope I die of Covid and all of this. It's obscene and you can actually feel the hatred."

Bruce called for the giant social media firms to take greater action to deal with the growing problem of online abuse.

The 60-year-old added: "When I see a referee become a target because he's made a mistake, with people threatening his life it's absolutely obscene and totally ridiculous.

"These big companies have to police it better and find these idiots and morons who send this vile abuse and punish them. I'm not sure what kind of punishment I'd like to see but it has to be stopped because there are some vulnerable people out there.

"Social media can be a really powerful weapon and these big companies should start policing it better than they are doing. They need to clamp down on it, that's for sure. I don't go it, but people close to me do and they are sensitive towards their father."

WILSON BLOW

Bruce also revealed how £20m striker Wilson will be out for up to eight weeks with a badly torn hamstring. The 28-year-old limped off early in the 3-2 win against Southampton and Bruce added: "It's devastating news.

"We hoped it was a grade one tear so he'd be out for two or three weeks. Unfortunately it's worse than that so we'll be without him for the best part of eight weeks.

"He doesn't need to have an operation, but when you're all pace and power like him the rehabilitation has to be spot on."

England striker Wilson has been involved in 60 per cent of Newcastle's 25 goals this season since his summer move from Bournemouth.

Bruce added: "You need your big players at the sharp end of the pitch so we've been dealt another blow. Without Callum it's going to be hard because he's been terrific all year and he's very difficult to replace."

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Defenders Fabian Schar (knee) and Javier Manquillo (ankle) are also set to be sidelined until mid-April after picking up injuries against the Saints.

Newcastle were hit hard by a coronavirus outbreak earlier this season, and Bruce added: "It's been the story of the season. I don't think I've had a chance to pick my strongest line-up.

"All clubs are struggling with muscle injuries due to the sheer weight of games we're having to play, it's catching up with everyone."

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