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Sport

New signings have lifted the mood at Newcastle, says Bruce

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - July 20, 2020 Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS/Glyn Kirk

(Reuters) - Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce believes the signings of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis have come at the right time and helped lift the mood at St James’ Park ahead of their season-opener against West Ham United on Saturday.

Newcastle spent around 35 million pounds to bring in Wilson and Lewis from Bournemouth and Norwich City respectively, while Fraser arrived on a free transfer.

“In the past you’d have liked to have the signings done before pre-season, but this year there’s been no real pre-season as such,” Bruce told reporters in a news conference.

“I’m delighted with what we’ve done, just at the right time. We’ve managed to bring four or five in, we’ve got one or two signed up as well and another couple in discussions so we’re progressing.

“Hopefully, we can get it done and dusted before that scramble which always comes in about a month’s time.”

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has often come under fire for his lack of ambition in the transfer market and Bruce, 59, is glad Ashley is finally loosening the purse strings.

“Sometimes the manager needs a bit of help, certainly over the last week... with certain transfers he’s had to flex his muscles, which was good to see,” Bruce said.

“Newcastle always seem to be in a storm, and there is nothing like a few signings to lift the mood. Very quietly in amongst the storm, we have been trying to work our way through and when they get over the line... everybody is delighted.”

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

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