The boyhood Toon supporter was announced as Rafa Benitez's successor this week.
He told NUFC TV: "To be given the opportunity now, I'm like every other Geordie now, I've lived the dream, if you can't play for them then of course if you're a Geordie what better thing than to take the number one seat?
"I'm delighted to be given the opportunity, I'll do my best, I know in some people's eyes I'm not Rafa and I understand there's big shoes to fill but believe me I'll give it everything I possibly can and hopefully prove the doubters wrong.
"The easy thing for me would have been to say no, but at my stage in my career now - back a few years ago I regretted it - that regret lingered around me for years when Sir Bobby [Robson] left so to be given the opportunity again is something simply I had to take it.
"I had to grasp it, I knew it was going to be difficult. I just hope that people show the respect which obviously you only gain by getting a few results and doing the job but hopefully that'll go hand in hand."