The return of Mike Ashley - Steve Bruce discusses the Newcastle United owner being back on the scene

Mike Ashley’s return to the scene at Newcastle United can only be seen in a positive light – that’s the view of head coach Steve Bruce.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 7:00 am
PRESTON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Steve Bruce the manager of Newcastle United reacts during a pre-season friendly match between Preston North End and Newcastle United at Deepdale on July 27, 2019 in Preston, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Having returned to the Magpies’ training ground last week to meet Bruce, his coaches and record-breaking signing Joelinton, Ashley came across as re-energised by the task at hand at United in an in many ways controversial, but open, interview with Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail.

In that interview he said: “I go to the training ground, hot day, all lovely - you can't help getting carried away.

“I'm like, 'What can I do to help? Can we get another one in? What's he like, is he fast?

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“It's one of the amazing things about owning a football club, the way you get caught up. It's like someone has put something in your coffee. You look around, you want to lift the place, hit the ground running. I hope we're not finished at Joelinton.”

And there is a realisation from within the United camp that if they can keep Ashley on board with the project, they can get closer to achieving what everyone wants.

Speaking ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Hibs this evening, Bruce said: “He came up to the training ground to see my staff, myself, his new centre forward and the rest of the players to wish good luck for the rest of the season.

“That can only be a positive thing. As always, at any club, you have got to be in it all together and that is what I’ll try and do.”

Bruce continued: “He thought it was important he came up on my first day of training. He enjoyed it. We had a conversation which will obviously stay with us but that can only be a positive thing. I hope that continues.”

When asked whether the club’s ambitions would be just to avoid relegation, he said: “No, no, that’s definitely not the case. We’ve got to take the club forward.

“I’m not going to be anybody’s yes man. I’m too long in the tooth for that.

“I will certainly be my own man, I always have. And all I can ask is to be given a chance.”