Newcastle United in China: Steve Bruce reacts to Alan Shearer's comments on 'toxic' job
Steve Bruce has reacted to Alan Shearer’s warning against him taking the manager’s job at Newcastle United.
Bruce today spoke at the pre-match press conference for tomorrow’s Premier League Asia Trophy third-place game against West Ham United at Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium.
The 58-year-old – who was appointed as Rafa Benitez’s successor at St James’s Park on Wednesday after resigning from his post at Sheffield Wednesday – appeared on stage at the plush Shangri-La Hotel with defender Paul Dummett.
“Make no mistake – it’s going to be difficult,” said Bruce. “I’m under no illusions. My eyes are wide open to it. I’ve got big boots to fill, but I’m delighted to be given the opportunity.”
Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer this week revealed that he had advised Bruce against taking what he described as a “toxic” job.
Bruce said: “Alan’s a big, big friend of mine, and he’s welcome to his opinions. I understand the challenge that lays ahead. I’m not everybody’s cup of tea and I’m not Rafa Benitez.
“However, I’m confident enough in my experience, and the people I’ve brought in, that we can continue to take the club forward.”
Meanwhile, West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere is looking forward to facing former Arsenal team-mate Isaac Hayden at the Hongkou Stadium.
“I’ve played against him a few times in the Premier League and he’s difficult to play against,” said Wilshere. “They’ve got a good manager in who’s experienced, and they’ll be difficult to play against.”
Newcastle were beaten 4-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in Nanjing on Wednesday night.