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Newcastle boss Bruce insists he can handle the criticism

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce insists he can handle the stick coming his way.

Five games into his reign, Bruce has already experienced the highs and lows of life as the Magpies' boss after seeing his side put in a terrible display at Norwich but then respond in style against Spurs the following weekend.

"Make no mistake, I knew, early on, it was going to be difficult. I always knew that the start we had is equally more difficult," he told the Evening Chronicle. "To calm the storm that everybody was riding at the time, getting a few results was the only way really.

"When I looked at the first five games, we've got three of the top six. We have got most of the top six in the first nine so I knew it was going to be difficult.

"Can we go and get a couple more results? That's got to be the aim and the only thing I'm really focused on and concentrating on because that's the only thing I can affect.

"The only thing I can affect is on the training ground and making sure that they're ready and capable and, of course, the result at Tottenham gave everyone a lift.

"We had a good week. We played very well against Leicester - lost on penalties - and did OK against Watford. It's a big occasion at the weekend coming up but I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

"I only want what's best for the club. I want to try and take the club forward and the sickness in me has enjoyed it. I've enjoyed the stick and I've enjoyed the challenge. The more it piles on, the more I seem to enjoy. I hope it wanes a little bit but, in time, a few results will help."

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Paul Vegas

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