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28th September 2020

Environment Newcastle transfers: Steve Bruce glad to see Mike Ashley ‘flex muscles’

Environment Newcastle transfers: Steve Bruce glad to see Mike Ashley ‘flex muscles’

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environment Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce comfortably kept Newcastle in the Premier League in his first season in charge

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is pleased to see owner Mike Ashley “flex his muscles” in the transfer market.

Newcastle have spent £35m on Callum Wilson,Jamal Lewis and free agent Ryan Fraser – all of whom met the club’s owner at a team dinner on Wednesday.

“With the signings we’ve brought in, we are better equipped than this time last year,” said the St James’ Park boss.

Bruce also says the club’s collapsed takeover by a Saudi Arabian-based group “looked dead in the water”.

Newcastle issued a statement on Wednesday saying it believed the Premier League had rejected the £300m takeover by the consortium.

But on Thursday, the Premier League said that interpretation was “incorrect”, saying they had asked for more information about who would hold control at the club.

“My job is to get on with it,” Bruce added.

“One thing the takeover does for everybody whether it’s the head coach or manager to the tea lady, there is an uncertainty and that is never healthy in any environment.”

Bruce said the signings of former Bournemouth forward Wilson for £20m, ex-Norwich full-back Lewis for £15m and Scotland winger Fraser had “lifted the mood” at the club and praised owner Ashley, who has been criticised by supporters for a lack of ambition.

Newcastle also announced on Friday that midfielder Isaac Hayden and goalkeeper Karl Darlow had signed new long-term contracts.

However defender Florian Lejeune, who joined from Eibar in 2017 for a reported £8.7m, has joined La Liga side Alaves on a season-long loan after a spell hampered by injury.

“The owner wanted to come and meet his new players,” Bruce said of the team dinner.

“Sometimes the manager needs a bit of help, certainly over the last week in particular, and then with certain transfers he’s had to flex his muscles which was good to see. I’m grateful for that support.

“Newcastle always seen to be in a storm, and there is nothing like a few signings to lift the mood amongst everybody and not just among the supporters, but the players, manager and staff.

“So very quietly in amongst the storm, we have been trying to work our way through it and when they get over the line and come thick and fast like they did, everybody is delighted.”

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