Inside Steve Bruce's Press conference: Managing expectations and the club's new transfer blueprint

Steve Bruce believes that buying from the domestic market was vital this summer for Newcastle United

Steve Bruce on making changes for the cup game with Blackburn

Steve Bruce admitted last week that Newcastle United's transfer business had even prompted a smile from his window cleaner.

The United manager's week started with a message from one of his close pals who appeared to have been swept away by the euphoria of the victory at the London Stadium on Saturday night.

The triumph against West Ham was proclaimed as one of the "best performances in years" by Bruce's friend, but part of his job as Toon boss is to try to manage expectations.

Progress in the League Cup will only add to the joy, and as the sun shone on Tyneside on the eve of the club's first cup game of the season the sight of replica shirts around the region suggested that people are slowly getting the bug back after a torrid few months caused by takeover failure.

Bruce, with a smile, told reporters via a Zoom conference: "A mate of mine this morning said, 'It's the best we've played in two or three years'. I said, 'Really? I'm not sure about that but it was good to see'.

"But hopefully we will be a little different this season.

"I thought we weren't ready to change last year."

Indeed, cast your mind back to this time 12 months ago, and Bruce was quickly learning that he was facing a job to coax his players out of their defensive mindset after playing a five-man defence for so long under previous management.

Some will argue that the latter stages of Rafa Benitez's stint as manager contained more offensive displays than people make out after the arrival of Miguel Almiron.

But Bruce feels his side are developing and having picked up three points with a 4-4-2 formation, his players are definitely doing a job for him.

Team spirit is excellent despite the collapse of a takeover at St James' Park.

Arguably, some of the current crop of players may have left had the Middle East consortium got their way and started to play fantasy football in the transfer market.

For now, it is Bruce's Newcastle and he is pleased with the mood in the camp.

He said: "There's nothing better for anybody to go away from home and win, especially in the Premier League because we know how difficult it is. It wasn't just the victory that pleased me, it was the way we went about it.

"With the three new faces in the squad, it looked like they'd been there for years, never mind a week, which pleased me and all three had wonderful debuts.

"All in all, we've had a decent start but we won't get too carried away after one result because there is still a long way to go!"

For the third Press conference running Bruce wove more comments about his buy British policy at United and given the list of players from abroad the club are currently trying to offload there has been a clear shift in approach as far as recruitment is concerned.

Bruce said: "We felt that we need people who come and in and don't have a problem with language, settling into this country or getting into the Premier League.

"Can we have people who can hit the ground running straight away?

"When you sign the personalities we have done along with the ability they have - I'm delighted they've come into the club and they gave everyone a lift at the right time, which was good to see."