What Sheffield Wednesday fans can expect from Steve Bruce based on his time at Sunderland

Sheffield Wednesday have appointed Steve Bruce as the club's new manager - but what can fans expect from the 58-year-old?
Sheffield Wednesday have appointed Steve Bruce as the club's new manager - but what can fans expect from the 58-year-old?
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Sheffield Wednesday have appointed Steve Bruce as the club's new manager - but what can fans expect from the 58-year-old?

Discussions between Bruce and Owls officials have been ongoing for several weeks, and his arrival was finally confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

And having spent two years on Wearside, Sunderland are somewhat well-placed to act as a reference to Wednesday fans' enquiries regarding their new boss.

Speaking our Sunderland writers, here is what Owls fans can expect from Bruce based on his time in the North East.

How did he fare at Sunderland?

Joining the Black Cats in 2009 on a three-year contract, Bruce brought the likes of Darren Bent and Lee Cattermole to Wearside.

In his first five months as boss, Bruce led the club to 10th in the Premier League as Sunderland entered the second half of the term with some standout results to show for it.

However, a 14-game winless streak between November and February saw Bruce finish his debut campaign in 13th.

Trusted to splash once a club-record transfer fee on Asomoah Gyan, Sunderland sat seventh as they entered 2011 - however a damning 5-1 defeat to Tyne Wear rivals Newcastle United wasn't to be forgotten.

Bruce oversaw a top 10 finish - without Bent, who was sold to Aston Villa in January 2011 - but again, another winless streak of nine games between February and April left fans unimpressed, with Bruce feeling the pressure whilst heading to the summer.

After two wins from his opening 12 games, the whole stadium had deafeningly chanted for Bruce out after Wigan Athletic came from behind to win 2-1.

He was sacked four days later on November 30, 2011 with Sunderland 16th in the Premier League.

How popular was he with the Sunderland fans?

Despite supporting Newcastle United as a boy, Bruce was relatively popular among the Wearside faithful after getting off to promising start as boss.

But as results turned, so did supporters and he often frustrated them with his post-match comments.

All in all, it was a similar situation to the one he endured at Aston Villa.

The anger towards him in his final Sunderland and Villa games were both heaped with anger, although no one at the Stadium of Light decided to throw a cabbage off him...

What was his style of play on Wearside?

He once said at the beginning of his Sunderland reign that he wasn't really in to tactics when asked if he was considering experimenting with his side.

Most often, Bruce switched between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 at Sunderland, particularly when he had Bent, Gyan and Danny Welbeck at his disposal.

And while that worked before losing some key players, in the build-up to his sacking, Bruce was unsurprisingly criticised for being unable to adapt his tactics, evidenced by the Wigan defeat in his final game in-charge.

In various articles after his sacking, Bruce was said to believe motivation was the key to management, and was more so praised for his man-management despite noticeable fall outs with Kenwyne Jones and Anton Ferdinard.

What type of signings could he make in January?

Bruce had a decent transfer kitty at Sunderland, as seen by the record buys of Bent and Gyan, but he also knew how to wheel and deal.

The experienced manager has excellent contacts in the game and has used the loan market well at all the clubs he has been at, attracting the likes of Danny Welbeck and John Mensah to Sunderland, while at Villa he raided his old club Manchester United for Sam Johnstone and Tammy Abraham has been a huge hit since his temporary switch from Chelsea.

Bruce likes strong, experienced centre-halves - similar to himself as a player - and the likes of Michael Turner, Mensah and Titus Bramble did well for Sunderland, while John Terry and Chris Samba were recruited at Villa.

And Owls fans shouldn't rule out a move for Ahmed Elmohamdy - Bruce has signed the Egyptian three times, starting with fetching him to Wearside in 2010.

Who could join Bruce's backroom staff at Wednesday?

At Sunderland, Eric Black acted as his assistant with goalkeeping coach Nigel Spink and reserve team coach Keith Bertschin also joining him.

Ex-Republic of Ireland international Steve Staunton also joined on Wearside, a few months before he sacked.

However, most recently at Aston Villa, he worked with former Middlesbrough assistant and caretaker manager Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemance, who were both spotted in the stands watching the Owls' recent wins over Boro and Preston North End.