Steve Bruce vows to prove doubters wrong after his Newcastle United appointment
The popular Spaniard departed St James’s Park after failing to agree a new contract, with Bruce unveiled as the club’s new head coach on Wednesday.
And the former Sheffield Wednesday manager is under no illusions as to how his appointment has been perceived by some supporters on Tyneside – but is determined to prove the doubters wrong.
“I know in some people's eyes I'm not Rafa,” he said, speaking to NUFC TV.
“I understand there's big shoes to fill but believe me I will do everything I possibly can to hopefully prove the doubters wrong.”
Bruce now steps into a job he was first approached for in 2004, when he was lined-up to succeed Sir Bobby Robson.
And having decided not to take the job at the time, Bruce admits he had lingering regrets – which he is keen to eradicate now.
"The easy thing would have been to say no but at this stage in my career, a few years ago I regretted it.
“It lingered around me for years when Sir Bobby left. When I was given the opportunity again I had to take it, I had to grasp it.
“I knew it was going to be difficult. I just hope people show the respect which you only gain by getting a few results and doing the job, but hopefully that will go hand in hand.”