Steve Bruce reflects on 'difficult' Newcastle United spell after returning to management

Steve Bruce has addressed his “difficult” spell at Newcastle United – after returning to management.

Bruce – who left St James’s Park in October with the club winless in the Premier League – has been appointed as West Bromwich Albion’s new manager following the dismissal of Valerien Ismael.

There had been vocal calls for Bruce to go from Newcastle fans for months before he finally left the club in the wake of a £305million takeover.

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And Bruce hopes that United supporters, in the future, will look back at his time at the club more favourably.

“Newcastle’s gone,” said the 61-year-old. “It was a chapter of my football life. I want them to succeed. It was a difficult time for me, but maybe in a few years people will think finishing 12th and 13th wasn’t that bad after all.

“That chapter has now left me, I want to look forward to taking West Brom forward, and I’m very confident I can do that.

“You reflect on it, it was there, you look at it, and you want it (the criticism) to go away. The only way you can do it though is to get back on the horse, and not take the criticism too far.

“That was the real thing, to put it behind me – it’s gone – and move forward.

Steve Bruce at St James's Park in October.

“My job was to keep them in the Premier League, and nothing has changed. I wish them the best of luck.”

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Bruce has signed an 18-month contract with West Brom, which signed former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll last momth. The club is sixth in the Championship with three wins from 13 games.

“I’ve always liked to think I’ve had a decent time in the Championship," said Bruce. “I’d love to make it five (promotions) – that is what I’m here for.

“If I didn’t think West Brom could get into the Premier League, I wouldn’t be sitting here.

“We have got a squad of players as good as anything in the Championship. It’s wise to assess what we’ve got. We’ll implement change, but I won’t be hugely drastic. I understand what the supporters want here.”

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