The club was beaten 4-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing, China, this evening.
Dawson and Neil Redfearn were in charge for the game, which was played in intense heat and humidity at the Olympic Sports Centre.
Bruce’s appointment was confirmed just over an hour before kick-off time, and Dawson, the Academy’s head of coaching, is looking forward to handing over the reigns to the 58-year-old, who resigned from his post at Sheffield Wednesday earlier this week and will link up with the squad in Shanghai.
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"As far as i'm aware, he was confirmed before the game today,” said Dawson. “I’m really pleased in terms of the players knowing who’s coming. To my knowledge, he's on his way. We hope he’ll join us at the team hotel in Shanghai."
There were chants of “Ashley out” at the stadium aimed at United owner Mike Ashley.
Dawson said: “We've been out here focusing on the preparation for the tournament. I haven't spoken to Steve yet. I'm not sure about the conversations he's had with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley. I don't know anything about that.”
Dawson made 10 changes – the maximum permitted – against Wolves, and the likes of Elias Sorensen, Matty Longstaff and Kelland Watts got on in the second half.
“Everyone got minutes,” said Dawson. “The manager’s travelling here knowing preparations are still going as planned, and he has a full squad with him for when he arrives in Shanghai.”