STEVE BRUCE admits he ignored Alan Shearer's advice to snub Newcastle – but insists he is not Mike Ashley's puppet.
Bruce has signed a three-year deal as successor to Rafa Benitez, against the advice of Georgie legend Shearer who told SunSport he had tried to steer his old pal away from the job.
2 Bruce insists he is his own manCredit: Getty – Contributor
Despite being a lifelong fan of Newcastle, the 58-year-old has also had to face accusations from some sections of the fan-base of being a front man for controversial owner Ashley.
But Bruce said: "Alan is a big friend of mine – he's welcome to his opinion, but I'm my own man.
"I understand the challenge of what lies ahead, I'm not everyone's cup of tea and I'm not Rafa.
"Whoever in this seat would have found it difficult but with my experience I'm confident we can continue to take the club forward.
"Make no mistake, I'm under no illusions, but I've come in with eyes wide open.
"I'm like every Geordie living that dream, how lucky am I? I'll have to put up with some nonsense but I'm determined to grasp the opportunity and have a go.
"I think you know what I'm talking about. I don't want to go into specifics, it'll come out in the wash. But there's been things written which have been nonsense.
"Am I in charge of transfers or am I a puppet? That won't happen of course – that's the sort of thing I'm referring to.
"I've not been in Newcastle to monitor it, I don't read it, if you read and scrutinise everything thrown your way, you'd end up in a madhouse.
"Just judge me over the period of time, and I'm quietly confident after nearly 400 games in the PL that I will do OK."
Bruce takes charge of his first game this weekend when the side face West Ham in the Asia Trophy, but he is already looking at what new signings he can bring in.
The club are close to sealing a deal for £36million Hoffenheim striker Joelinton – and the boss admits strengthening his attacking options is vital.
He added: "Of course we want to make a couple of signings at least.
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"With the loss of Rondon and Rerez that's an area we have to take a look at.
"We are active in the transfer market as we speak and hopefully we can get a couple of players over the line.
"It's like most clubs really, ultimately I will have the final say which is only correct.