Socce-Bruce won't give up the fight at Newcastle

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Newcastle United - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 11, 2021 Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce before the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce said it is not in his nature to walk away from a fight and that while he is frustrated by the team's poor start to the season he is determined to right the ship and safeguard their place in the Premier League.

Newcastle are yet to win a game this season and sit second-bottom on one point after four matches, and the pressure is growing on the 60-year-old Bruce.

"My family think I'm a bit sick because I never really think about (walking away) when you're up against it," Bruce told reporters ahead of their league game against Leeds United, who are also searching for their first win, later on Friday.

"I want Newcastle to be in the top of the league so that frustration is there but I don't think about, 'Oh the noise is too bad, walk away Steve.'

"It's not in my nature to walk away from something when we're in a fight."

Bruce said he was also frustrated with the club's recruitment policy, with the permanent signing of Joe Willock -- already on loan at St James' Park -- their only significant piece of business in the transfer window.

"Do you not think I want better players?" he asked. "Do you not think I want a better squad to choose from? Do you not think I want the ability to compete at the top end of the transfer market?

"It's not possible, so I have to accept it and get on with my job as best I can, at this moment. There's the frustration for everybody concerned, and I'm the same.

"It's not great, I understand that, but that's where we are.

"The challenge at the minute is just ticking along and make sure that the club stays where it is and we maintain our Premier League status."

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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