Hello and welcome to our live blog as we bring you coverage of Newcastle United's Premier League Asia Trophy clash with West Ham on Saturday, July 20.

Steve Bruce and his assistants, Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, landed in Shanghai on Thursday and have kept a close eye on the players at training.

The Magpies' squad will be keen to impress their new head coach and put that 4-0 defeat to Wolves firmly behind them as they get further pre-season minutes under their belt. Bruce will be watching today's third-place play-off, which kicks off at 10am (BST), from the stands as Ben Dawson and Neil Redfearn take charge.

"It rejuvenates everybody knowing that they have to impress the new boss. The standard will go up a notch," Sean Longstaff told the Chronicle.

Stick with us for all the build-up, team news and goal updates LIVE from the Hongkou Stadium.

Team news: NUFC vs West Ham

The subs: Darlow, Woodman, Manquillo, Fernández, Lazaar, Bailey, Watts, Ki, S. Longstaff, M. Longstaff, Murphy, Aarons, Allan

Steve Bruce says he is insulted by claims he will be a yes man for Mike Ashley.

In a defiant Press conference at Newcastle’s team hotel, Bruce hit back at suggestions he will merely be a puppet for the club.

Speaking ahead of the clash with West Ham, Bruce said: “Recruitment, yes that has insulted me, the things that have been said.

“Let me tell you, if I thought I couldn’t have control of transfers, then of course, I wouldn’t be doing it.

“I wouldn’t do it at all.

“With the recruitment guys, that’s how football clubs work. It’s vital it works.”

You can read the full story here.

Youngster to get his chance

Elias Sorensen is poised to make the first senior start of his Newcastle United career against West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

The Danish striker had his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers in midweek but Steve Bruce is keen to take a closer look.

And coupled with the fact Newcastle are - in Bruce’s own words - “light on strikers”, Sorensen finally gets the chance he was praying for last season.

Bruce said: “The young boy Jamie Sterry will play and the young centre forward, Sorensen, he’s going to start.”

But Bruce will watch on from the stands.

Elias Sorensen
Elias Sorensen (Image: Getty Images for Premier League)

Charles N'Zogbia on Steve Bruce

Charles N’Zogbia played for Steve Bruce at Wigan and has told the Chronicle just how highly he rated the new NUFC head coach: “Steve Bruce was one of the best managers I have worked with.

“He has the passion and man management skills of Sir Bobby Robson for me. He’s a true manager and will always do the best for the club to succeed. He has bought players and developed them like Antonio Valencia, Andrew Robertson and Harry Maguire and he also got Hull to the FA Cup final when they narrowly lost out to Arsenal.”

Charles N'Zogbia in action for Newcastle United but while a Magpie he had a bust-up with former striker Andy Carroll
Charles N'Zogbia in action for Newcastle United but while a Magpie he had a bust-up with former striker Andy Carroll

Steve Bruce on Sean Longstaff

Sean Longstaff has been linked to Manchester United this summer but Steve Bruce is determined to keep the youngster at Newcastle.

Speaking in China, Bruce said: “He’s a player we want to keep, he’s had a remarkable rise. He is everything you would want in a player, big and athletic and he handles the ball well.

“He is the type of player you want to build your team around, I’ve only seen him for a day, but he has had an unbelievable rise.”

“He very much reminds me of a Michael Carrick. I’m not aware that he is going to Manchester United, I’m not aware of that at all.”

Matthew Longstaff (C) runs with the ball
Matthew Longstaff (C) runs with the ball (Image: Newcastle United via Getty Image)

What's it been like in China?

Listen to our podcast from Lee Ryder who has been following the Magpies in China

My mam would have burst into tears, my dad would have said: ‘Do you know what you are doing son?’

The hotel catering staff from the plush Shangri-la hotel scurry around a table as Steve Bruce takes a breath or two after his first Press conference on the big stage in a room packed with journalists from around the world.

Outside the heat is 33 degrees as the boats pass by on the Huangpu River and tourists are absorbing the stunning skyscrapers and incredible backdrop in Shanghai.

Back on Tyneside, Bruce has had the frostiest of receptions with huge questions over his suitability and what people see as a modest CV.

But, as plates and cutlery are being clattered into boxes around him, there is a moment when Bruce’s human side is there for all to see as he speaks of his pride at managing Newcastle United.

Bruce’s big day was missed by his mam and dad, who both passed away in 2018.

Regardless of the situation, Bruce’s parents Sheenagh and Joe would have been overwhelmed to see their lad on that stage in his first big media unveiling in China.

The 58-year-old was close to tears when asked what his parents would have made of it all.

Read more

Steve Bruce at his first Press conference as Newcastle United manager
Steve Bruce at his first Press conference as Newcastle United manager (Image: Getty Images for Premier League)

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Newcastle United's clash with West Ham!