Sheffield United are told former Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United boss will be a big threat for West Brom

Steve Bruce’s presence makes this week’s game against West Bromwich Albion a much tougher assignment for Sheffield United, Paul Heckingbottom has warned.

Monday, 7th February 2022, 8:21 am

Ranked sixth and 10th in the Championship table respectively, and with United knowing a win will move them level on points with their latest opponents, the match is of vital importance to both clubs’ seasons as they chase promotion back to the Premier League.

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Bruce, previously in charge of Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle, began his managerial career at Bramall Lane nearly two-and-a-half decades ago. He replaced Valerien Ismael at The Hawthorns last week after the former Barnsley chief, who led West Brom to a 4-0 victory over United earlier this term, came under fire from supporters amid concerns about his style of football and recent results.

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Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“We know Albion will be tough,” Heckingbottom said. “They are above us in the league. They have a new manager and a very experienced manager. So we know how difficult this is going to be, because of all of those things. But it’s a test that we are looking forward to, definitely.”

Bruce, aged 61, faced United five times during his spells at Hillsborough and St James’ Park - winning three of those contests and losing only one. But United will be confident of ending that run when they face his latest employers on Wednesday.

Last week’s triumph over Birmingham City was their seventh victory in nine league outings, with six of those coming since Heckingbottom’s appointment three months ago.

West Brom have appointed Steve Bruce as their new manager on an 18-month contract: Alex Pantling/PA Wire.

“There’s a lot of games to play,” he said. “We’ll attack the run and give it everything.”