I'm ready to prove doubters wrong - Bruce
Steve Bruce is looking to prove some of his doubters wrong after replacing Rafael Benitez as Newcastle's head coach this week.
The 58-year-old was installed as 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 role was one he simply could not refuse a second time.
Speaking to nufcTV in Shanghai, where he will take charge of his first game against West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy on Saturday, 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."
With just three weeks of the transfer window remaining ahead of the new Premier League season, Newcastle are running out of time to plug the substantial gap in the squad left by the departures of Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez among others.
Dwight Gayle missed Wednesday's 4-0 defeat by Wolves with a calf problem and Yoshinori Muto is currently the only fit senior striker, although the club is understood to be in advanced talks with Hoffenheim over 22-year-old Brazilian Joelinton.
Bruce said: "When you get the call, the first thing you look at is the squad, and of course we're aware that we've lost Rondon and Ayoze, so we're short in that little area and we're working on that.
"But the squad is littered with some very, very good players and that's why it's been able to stay in the Premier League. It's my job now to try to move us forward as best as we possibly can and I'll do my utmost to try to achieve that."
Newcastle return to competitive action when they kick off the Premier League season at home to Arsenal on August 11 and punters using their free bet may want to back Bruce to make a winning start at the helm.
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.