Steve Bruce at Sunderland for the longhaul hopes Niall Quinn
05 June 2009 09:55
Quinn is hoping that Bruce remains at the Stadium of Light for many years to come after the former United skipper signed a three-year deal at the Wearside club rather than returning to Old Trafford when Ferguson eventually retires.
'It would be lovely if Manchester United come calling because we have a nice good clause in the contract, much better than the Roy Keane one but that's just financial,' Quinn said.
'Being honest, though, it would hurt given the way I'm feeling about it today because I see this as a long-term project.
'Quite frankly I had a good chat with our historian the other day about the length of time we have been in the top-flight.
'And other than the people who were in charge from the late 19th century to 1958 the longest this club has been in the top flight is six seasons.
'Now we are about to embark on our third. I have gone from being a complete wreck, couldn't look out of the window, sleeping under the covers because I couldn't face people, to two weeks later and I want to be the fella that does seven.
'I can't beat the fella that did to 1958 but I certainly can be the guy who is responsible for the six. That points out how it has invigorated me. I was doubting myself in the last few weeks so much. That wasn't very nice. Everything has fallen into place - the ownership issue, staying up. Now I have the zest to do it. This is my chance.'
Quinn harboured self-doubts because Sunderland just avoided relegation after he decided to place first-team coach Ricky Sbragia in charge as manager despite his lack of experience rather than seek to prise Bruce away from Wigan following Roy Keane's resignation last December.
'I did consider going for Steve when Wigan were sixth in the league and we were next from bottom,' Quinn added.
'I don't think it would have been worth our while. he would have been at the top of our list. we took a gamble and it's gone our way. It came off and we won the horse race by a photo finish. we are able to do it. I have had gambling instinct in me and I felt Ricky would lift us and he did.'
The Irishman continued: 'I felt that if Ricky had not got us over the line that I was culpable.
'We might have got what they are all saying about the Newcastle and Middlesbrough players. That would have been my fault; I sanctioned all of those deals. You start to doubt yourself.
'You keep yourself to yourself. I was non-existent. You just want to keep out of the way. Then you get over the line and you're thinking it was fine all along. Then you start to feel good and pat yourself on the back you get back to work. We have had good news since. It's really refreshing and we are all lifted.'