The two men met at Benton and it’s thought that their talk went very positively indeed, but Bruce is insistent that he’s not going to be a ‘yes man’ for the Sports Direct tycoon.
“He was very positive. He enjoyed watching training, the work the players did. He is positive ahead of the season.”
Bruce also revealed whether a potential takeover of the club was discussed: “No. Just get on with it. We did not talk about it.”
It’s thought that one of the bones of contentions between Ashley and former manager Rafael Benitez was that the Spaniard didn’t invite the owner to training and have him watch what the players were doing during the days between games. However, Bruce has quickly rectified that issue, holding talks with the owner at the training ground and, by his own admission, allowing the Magpies chief to watch training and see what was going on with the squad ahead of the new season. It’s perhaps strange that the owner is feeling positive ahead of the new season, because he’s probably the only one on Tyneside who is. However, considering how detached from the mood in the north east Ashley is perhaps that’s not really much of a shock. As for the takeover, you wouldn’t have expected the two men to discuss it unless it was essentially a done deal that the club would be sold. The Newcastle fans want that to happen, but it doesn’t seem like we’re quite there yet.