Football: New signings have lifted the mood at Newcastle, says upbeat manager Steve Bruce

Newcastle spent around £35 million to bring in Callum Wilson and Jamal Lewis from Bournemouth and Norwich respectively. PHOTO: AFP, REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Newcastle 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 English Premier League season-opener against West Ham on Saturday (Sept 12) .

Newcastle, 13th in the standings last season, spent around £35 million (S$61.3 million) to bring in Wilson and Lewis from Bournemouth and Norwich respectively, while Fraser arrived on a free transfer from the Cherries.

"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, referring to the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season.

"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."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.