Bruce on firm ground

24 October 2009 08:57
STEVE BRUCE is relishing life operating under the ambitious, forward-thinking of Sunderland owner Ellis Short and chairman Niall Quinn, rather than questioning what the next move of Birmingham Citys new foreign owner might be.

Bruce returns to St Andrews today for the first time since his acrimonious departure to Wigan two years ago, as Birmingham begin a new era under the ownership of a man from the Far East who was the main reason for his departure.

Carson Yeung will oversee his first home game since taking control of Birmingham following 16 years of David Sullivan and David Gold rule.

It brings to an end Yeungs drawn-out attempts to purchase the club, which started when Bruce was at the helm.

I met Carson Yeung just once. Different. That is all you need to say.

I was stuck in the middle of the previous regime wanting out and the new people wanting to come in, said Bruce.

It was four months between them putting the deposit down and him wanting to take over.

In that time nothing could get done.

Its incredible isnt it what football throws up

I hope for Alex McLeish and the supporters of Birmingham, the people that work the doors and the stewards that have been there for years that the club can go forward.

I had eight years there and that is big chunk of my career.

During those eight years Bruce would like to think he had a good relationship with the fans.

But they are likely to be split by the way he departed to take over at Wigan.

He said: I had two years there as a player as well and when I went there as a player I had come from Man United with slippers and dressing gowns and heated floors to getting changed in a tent and chasing ducks off the training pitch to train and they leave a mess like dogs.

I remember getting them out of the division and beating Villa regularly. They were good times I really enjoyed.

His successor, McLeish, however, is not interested in whether Bruce receives a nice reception from the usually hostile Blues crowd.

The current boss said: Steve should get a nice polite clap from the crowd when he walks down the track to the dug-out because of the sterling work he did here.

But then the fans have got to get right on to the Sunderland players backs after that, give them absolute dogs abuse, be relentless and get back to the type of fans that Steve inherited when he came to Birmingham.

According to Bruce, the contrast between working under Yeung, a Hong Kong businessman, and the Short- Quinn partnership at Sunderland is huge.

From top to bottom here, I have never had to do a thing, really, said Bruce. I have never had to change anything and thats huge testament to Roy Keane and his professionalism, and to Niall too. It has been first-class.

Bruce, hoping Bolo Zenden recovers from a hip flexor injury, said: At Birmingham I just became embroiled in a mess. I was in the middle of it. Once there is instability at the top there is a really rippling effect.

The players that you are trying to bring in ask you what you are doing and I couldnt answer that. Sadly for them they went down that year.

Bruce heads for St Andrews after convincing Nyron Nosworthy to sign a new contract at the Stadium of Light.

He has penned a deal that ties him to the club until 2002.

Bruce said: Nyron knows this club inside out and is a hugely popular member of the squad. He has impressed me since I came here in the summer.

He has a great work ethic and typifies the physically strong presence that good teams need in the Premier League, so Im delighted he has committed his future to Sunderland.

Source: Northern_Echo