The former Bournemouth winger was left on the bench during our weekend win over West Ham, but looks set to make his Newcastle debut in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Blackburn at St James’ Park.
Bruce was clearly wary to throw him in too soon, but insists that everything he’s seen on the training pitch so far points towards him being a “big favourite” amongst NUFC fans before long:
“Ryan hasn’t played since March and didn’t really train until Wednesday.
“He’s kept himself in remarkable condition but mark my words, from what I’ve seen in the few training sessions he’s had, he’ll be a big favourite with the Newcastle fans.”
The gaffer has also been full of praise for fellow new boys Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick, with the duo both getting on the scoresheet on Saturday.
Here’s what he had to sat about Wilson, revealing his delight at signing the 28-year-old who put in a brilliant all around display on his debut:
“I tried to take Callum from Coventry years ago and there’s something about him I enjoy watching.
“He moves well, he’s a goal scorer and works hard for the team.
“I’m delighted we’ve got him.”
He isn’t a player who’s used to getting the headlines, but Jeff Hendrick was arguably Saturday’s standout player with a big hand in both goals.
Here’s what Bruce had to say about the Irishman, praising his bravery for our first goal and moment of quality to make it 0-2:
“Jeff gave us a nice balance.
“I’ve been a big admirer of his for a long time and I was delighted at how brave he was to get the assist for Callum.
“Then he fired one in the top corner – he’ll remember that.”
A perfect debut for the former Bournemouth and Burnley duo, although Jamal Lewis also went under the radar with an accomplished display at left-back, keeping Bowen quiet, looking assured on the ball and getting forward well.
“To perform the way we did is also pleasing.
“It’s great that Jeff and Callum get off to a good start and the young full-back (Jamal Lewis) has had a decent game too.
“I was delighted with the attitude that we showed against a big powerful West Ham team.
“Maybe it was not a game for the purist but the better football came from ourselves.
“I was pleased all round.”
A great start to the season and a dream debut for all three of our new boys, with Wilson getting off the mark immediately, Hendrick influential at both ends and Lewis marking his first game at left-back with a clean sheet!
Roll on Blackburn on Tuesday and our first glimpse of Ryan Fraser in a black and white shirt.