EPL

Beckham told me to take Newcastle job, claims Bruce

By Sports Desk July 19, 2019

Steve Bruce has revealed David Beckham backed him in taking the Newcastle United job despite Alan Shearer's doubts.

Boyhood Magpies fan Bruce was appointed as the club's head coach this week, replacing Rafael Benitez, whose popular reign ended as he failed to agree with controversial owner Mike Ashley on a route forward.

Newcastle supporters are set to boycott their first match of the Premier League season amid anger at Ashley, while the arrival of Bruce - a former Sunderland boss - has not gone down well with many.

Club great Shearer, Bruce's friend, was vocal in advising the new man against moving to St James' Park, but ex-Manchester United team-mate Beckham was more positive.

"Tons of them [were positive]," Bruce said of his friends. "'You've got to do it,' people said.

"I don't want to mention names, but David Beckham was one of them. I'll have to show my daughter that text message.

"[Shearer] said 'no, no, no'. I said 'yes, yes, yes'. He's a big friend and he's a big Newcastle fan, but I had no hesitation as soon as I got the phone call.

"When it became real, there was no hesitation. I had to have a crack."

One of Bruce's first tasks at Newcastle will be to settle the future of Sean Longstaff, who is linked with a switch to Old Trafford.

Bruce is adamant Longstaff will not leave amid reports of a £50million valuation.

"[Longstaff] is a player we want to keep, he's had a remarkable rise," the coach said. "He is everything you would want in a player, big and athletic and he handles the ball well.

"We've got to be mindful of the fact he's had a nasty injury, we've got to nurture him through pre-season so he is ready for Arsenal [on the opening day].

"He is the type of player you want to build your team around. I’ve only seen him for a day, but he has had an unbelievable rise. He very much reminds me of a Michael Carrick.

"I'm not aware that he is going to Manchester United, I'm not aware of that at all."

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