Steve Bruce says Newcastle made 'smart move' by saving money for summer transfer targets

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Callum Wilson celebrates scoring for Newcastle against West Ham with Jeff Hendrick
Image: Callum Wilson (l) and Jeff Hendrick both scored on their Newcastle debuts in the 2-0 win at West Ham

Steve Bruce has praised Newcastle's "smart move” in saving their money in January in order to fund a summer swoop for "tried and tested" quality.

The Magpies have earned early dividends from their latest recruitment drive with debutants Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick both scoring in last Saturday's 2-0 Premier League win at West Ham, with Ryan Fraser following suit against Blackburn in their 1-0 Carabao Cup victory in midweek.

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Bruce worked closely with managing director Lee Charnley and head of recruitment Steve Nickson to identify the men he wanted, and believes the club has bought wisely in a challenging market.

"We didn't spend the money in January, which enabled us to keep hold of it and make sure that we could get the players that we wanted to get in this summer. I think that was a smart move," Bruce said ahead of Sunday's game with Brighton, live on Sky Sports.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Newcastle's win over West Ham in the Premier League

"I've worked tirelessly alongside Steve, Lee Charnley and the scouting department. We try to work together - of course, it's impossible for me to see every single player.

"But we all thought that with the short pre-season, with the build-up not being long, to get people settled into a new environment, let's go for a little bit of the tried and tested. I think it's certainly helped us."

With £13.5m full-back Jamal Lewis also making an impressive debut at West Ham and goalkeeper Mark Gillespie claiming a clean sheet against Blackburn, Newcastle have enjoyed arguably their most successful transfer window for some time.

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Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce in jocular mood
Image: Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is delighted with the transfer business they have done

As a result, the Magpies have started the new campaign in a far more positive environment than they did the last, when Bruce also had to contend with popular disquiet over his own appointment.

He added: "It was difficult coming through the door 12 months ago. There was not a lot of time to work with the team…but there's nothing like a couple of results - that helps.

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Highlights of the Carabao Cup match between Newcastle and Blackburn

"The work we've done in the transfer market has given everyone a lift, not just the manager, but the group of players and the supporters.

"You now see a group of players where you think, 'Newcastle have a half-decent squad', and that's the improvement that you want in 12 months."

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