Steve Bruce has given his first pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s match against Arsenal at St James Park.
He addressed his arrival at the club and how now that the summer business is done, it is up to him to get the results on the pitch.
“The pressure is on me now.
“But the minute you walk through the door the pressure is on you.
“In an ideal world you’d like six or seven weeks to prepare, but when the call came three weeks ago I was like a kid in a sweet shop.”
“As soon as you walk through the door here, there’s a certain pressure on you – but that’s why I’m here.”
“I want to give the fans a team they can be proud of and can associate with.”
“We will prioritise the cups and we want to take the club forward. We want to establish ourselves in the Premier League.”
When asked about the potential boycott against Arsenal, Steve was diplomatic in his response but also addressed the impact it could have on the players.
“Everybody is entitled to boycott if that’s what they want to do.
“We have to respect that.
“For me I don’t want it to upset the team and we know what a full St James’ Park can do.
“I am sure the fans will enjoy seeing the players on the pitch.”
Bruce spent a bit of time on the summer transfer activity as well. He seems delighted with the players that have been brought in.
We also have to remember that due to the coaching vacancy a lot of the transfer business was started late. So to bring in the five players they did was a decent job. Though they still seem to have trouble with getting deals done efficiently.
“A lot of people have put a lot of work in to bring in the five we brought in… It’s given everyone a bit of excitement, which is what the club needs.”
“I couldn’t be any more delighted with what we’ve brought in. We’ve brought in some very good players who I’m sure the supporters will enjoy watching.”
“Five players have walked through the door in three weeks. I said to Lee Charnley I think I’ve spent more money in the last three weeks than I have in 20 years!
“Fair play to the club in identifying targets and great business we’ve done.”
“You are always only as good as your strikers. When we come up against the big teams, defensively we will have to be spot on.
“But we have to cause the other teams a threat, we have that threat now.”
He made the following comments about Sunday’s opponents Arsenal. It will be a big test for Bruce and the lads and we have no idea what to expect. We just hope for an entertaining match and that the team can get a good result.
“Make no mistake – they were Europa League finalists (last season). They’re a big club and have been for years… You always know it’s going to be a tough game.
“They are a big club that have threats at the top of the field. I expect them to be very good and they have had a wonderful window.”
He also spoke about the hopefully triumphant return of Andy Carroll to Newcastle. It was certainly a riveting day yesterday seeing the big man make his return home.
“A lot of it was down to Andy. He was desperate to come back to the club to help and put play. We all know he’s had a few problems but he’s due a fair crack at being injury free.”
“He does not have anything to prove as a footballer. When he got the move to Liverpool he was unplayable. We hope to get a few glimpses of that. He is a mature Andy Carroll. When I spoke to him he only spoke about desire.”
Steve also talked about the squad and that some have not made it to the final twenty-five. It was always going to be hard with getting this squad ready for the season.
It was short on quality in key areas but had a lot of fringe players that were going to have to be moved on. Bruce said the following but would not disclose any names at the press conference of those who will be left out.
“They have all worked hard but four or five them will not get a squad number.”
Finally, Steve Bruce addressed injuries and it seems we do have a couple currently. Though Matt Ritchie has not been mentioned so he may have recovered from his slight hamstring problem.
“Yedlin has not fully recovered from an op. Krafth brings us that experience and know-how as any team needs. He is a fully-fledged Sweden international.”
“With the ongoing problem with Yedlin, it was vitally important we strengthened in that area. Dwight Gayle has a calf injury and
“I haven’t even seen him train yet. Atsu hasn’t really featured with us at all; he’s got a knee injury. Everybody else is OK.”