Bruce was officially appointed on Wednesday morning before the Asia Trophy match against Wolves, immediately flying out to the far east with Steve Agnew and Steve Clemence.
And after overseeing his first training session, Bruce spoke about the challenges ahead.
“I know in some people’s eyes I’m not Rafa and I understand there’s big shoes to fill,” Bruce said.
“But believe me I’ll give it everything I possibly can and hopefully prove the doubters wrong.”
That is correct Steve, you are in fact not Rafa Benitez, well done for figuring that out. But he is right, there are massive shoes to fill. The concern is that fans don’t think he’s the right man to fill them.
The former Sheffield Wednesday boss is saying the right things, acknowledging there is pressure on him from supporters, and it’s up to him to change our minds. But the talking needs to be done on the pitch, and he has a few weeks to get the players ready to ensure he doesn’t end up with egg on his face.
His first game is on Saturday morning against West Ham. After a woeful showing against Wolves, the Newcastle players will have a point to prove. And they should have extra motivation with a new manager watching from the touchline.
The heat is on for Bruce, and it’s going to take a lot for fans to accept him. Until proven otherwise, he’s just another Mike Ashley ‘yes’ man.