Steve Bruce says turning Newcastle job down would have been easier
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 18/07/19 4:28pm
Steve Bruce has admitted it would have been easier to turn down the chance to manage Newcastle but the pull of his boyhood club was too strong.
The 58-year-old was appointed on a three-year contract earlier this week, after the departure of Rafa Benitez following the expiration of his contract.
Bruce is the 10th permanent boss of owner Mike Ashley's 12-year St James' Park reign as angry supporters vented their displeasure over the running of the club on Bruce's arrival.
And although Bruce acknowledges he is walking into a hostile environment, he says it was too good an opportunity to turn down at this stage in his career.
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, live on Sky Sports, he said: "I'm like every other Geordie, I've lived the dream.
"I know in some people's eyes, I'm not Rafa and I understand there are big shoes to fill.
"The easy thing for me would have been to say no but it is something (the job) that I simply had to take.
"I had to grasp it, I knew it was going to be difficult but I hope people show the respect you obviously get with a few results and doing the job."
Bruce has previously been linked with the role on no less than three separate occasions - tipped to succeed Sir Bobby Robson in 2005, Graeme Souness in 2006 and Kevin Keegan in 2008.
However, Bruce admits it was the first link, replacing Robson, while Birmingham City manager that he really regretted for a long time afterwards.
"At my stage of my career, and looking back a few years ago, when Sir Bobby left I regretted it and it lingered around me for years later."