STEVE BRUCE is desperate to give Dwight Gayle a Premier League lifeline, after admitting he has tried to sign the Newcastle United man throughout his managerial career.

The Magpies head coach is desperate for a lift from somewhere after having the pressure piled on him after starting with back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Norwich City.

Saturday’s 3-1 surrender at Carrow Road has led to heavy criticism of Newcastle’s approach, with Bruce’s team unable to show the sort of defensive resilience that became a trademark of Rafa Benitez’s time in charge.

To increase the frustrations there has been a distinct lack of quality in the final third in the opening two games, despite investing heavily in the attacking third of the pitch over the last eight months.

Miguel Almiron, the £21m buy from Atlanta United last January, has come under greater criticism because he is still to open his account for Newcastle and he has not had an assist in that time either.

The club’s new record buy Joelinton is yet to make his mark, while £21m winger Allan Saint-Maximim had to miss the trip to Norwich through injury, so Bruce knows he could do with a lift.

And he would love to have the option of Gayle, having revealed that he is a striker that he has always admired in the Championship and is convinced that he deserves a chance in the Premier League too.

Bruce, knowing Gayle suffered the hamstring problem in Nanjing during the Asia Trophy, said: “When I was analysing the squad, he is capable of scoring a goal. If you are a Championship manager, you take him because he is the best striker in the Championship, so he must be able to contribute in the Premier League. I would hope he will be back before Andy Carroll.

“I said to the lad, I have tried to buy him wherever I have been. I have never been able to afford him. He is the best in the Championship, even last year he scored 24 times, got sent off and that was harsh in the semi-final and he got West Brom close. I hope he can contribute because he is capable of scoring.”