Magpies’ chief Bruce braced for tough Carrow Road return

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce got off to a losing start Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce got off to a losing start Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Steve Bruce knows he will get no favours from his old club Norwich City when he brings Newcastle United to Carrow Road this weekend.

The Magpies' lost 1-0 to Arsenal on Sunday in Bruce's first match in charge of his boyhood team since replacing Rafa Benitez in the summer.

"My goalkeeper has not had a shot to save. The disappointment is the goal we gave away. We have made a mistake and got punished and at this level you do," he said, speaking to his club's official site. "Overall, we gave as good as we got against a very good Arsenal team. In the first half we hit the post and Joelintin flashed a header wide. Those are the big incidents. When you are chasing the game you go more open. We put three up top and went 3-4-3 at the finish. It was a big day for me but like thousands of others I am disappointed not to get the result. We have a lot to work on and we will try to improve, which we will when the new players get bedded in.

"The Premier League is tough. It won't be easy to go to Carrow Road, that is for sure. We have another week for the new players and they can see how we are looking to play.

"We were a little bit open in last 20 minutes but if you look at it and analyse it against a really good Arsenal side, we only conceded one big mistake. I understand there will always be criticism here- that's part and parcel of it. We had a go in the last 20 minutes and we were stretched."

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A section of the home support vented their frustration at owner Mike Ashley with a fans' boycott but Bruce is determined to bring the good times back to Tyneside.

"They're all entitled to do what they want, they pay their hard-earned money and of course they are entitled to boycott," he told BBC Sport.

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"My message would be, like any manager coming in, just judge me over a little bit of time. Rafa was an extremely talented manager, he was adored by the supporters here, so whoever was going to fill his shoes was going to find it difficult because of the circumstances.

"The results now are the big thing, which any manager has to be judged on. The players have been terrific over the last two or three weeks, they've been a great group to work with."

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