You have to feel a bit sorry for Steve Bruce.
It was never going to be an easy task to follow in Rafa Benitez’s footsteps at Newcastle with the Spaniard establishing himself as something of a hero on Tyneside.
Mike Ashley really needed to appoint a big name to appease the Toon Army after the owner allowed Benitez to leave at the end of his contract.
Bruce wasn’t really the answer.
And #BruceOut was trending as soon as he was announced as Newcastle’s new boss.
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You can’t blame Bruce, though.
His mum and dad - who both passed away within the space of three heartbreaking months when he was in charge of Aston Villa - were both Newcastle mad.
And it was an offer he simply couldn’t turn down.
“My mum would have burst into tears,” he said.
“She would have been so proud. My dad would have said, ‘Are you sure you know what you’re doing, Son?’
“For all the family I’ve still got in the North East, I am sure they will be as proud as punch. For any Geordie, if you can’t play for Newcastle, then to get back and manage them is really something special.
“No matter how difficult, no matter how much s*** I’m going to have to deal with, I had to have a crack at it.”
Bruce was still in the UK when Newcastle were thrashed 4-0 by Wolves in China.
But he arrived at the Asia trophy ahead of Newcastle’s next friendly against West Ham.
While Bruce wasn’t allowed in the dugout due to visa problems, he sat in the stands to oversee his side beat West Ham 1-0.
And after the final whistle, Bruce couldn’t help resist having a bit of a joke.
Footage has captured him saying to his assistants ‘Shall we f**k off now?’
One match. One win. 100% win record. Bruce knows that it’s not going to get any better than this.
Imagine if he did actually resign after his first game in charge.
It would probably go down well with Newcastle supporters, that’s for sure.News Now - Sport News