Wednesday 11 December 2019

Bruce vows to prove his doubters wrong

Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce

New Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce has vowed to win over the doubters after admitting he has always regretted turning down the job the first time he was offered it.

The 58-year-old was installed as Rafael Benitez's replacement on Wednesday as angry fans vented their displeasure at owner Mike Ashley's running of the club.

Corbridge-born Bruce, who grew up in Wallsend, never played for the club he supported as a boy and revealed the chance to step into the hot-seat was one he simply could not refuse a second time.

Speaking in Shanghai, where he will take charge of his first game against West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy tomorrow, he said: "I'm like every other Geordie, I've lived the dream.

"If you can't play for them, then of course if you're a Geordie, what better thing than to take the number one seat? I'm delighted to have been given the opportunity and I'll do my best.

"I know in some people's eyes, I'm not Rafa and I understand there are big shoes to fill. But believe me, I'll give it everything I possibly can and hopefully prove the doubters wrong."

Bruce, who met the players yesterday just hours after his arrival in China, might have managed the Magpies much earlier in his career having been approached when Bobby Robson was sacked in 2004 during his time in charge at Birmingham.

It was a decision he lived to regret and is delighted to get a second bite at the cherry, even if he knows he is walking into a storm on Tyneside.

He said: "The easy thing for me would have been to say no, but at this stage in my career now...

"To be given the opportunity again, it was simply something I had to take."

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