How many clubs Steve Bruce turned down before joining Sheffield Wednesday

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Boss Steve Bruce has told The Star he turned down five job offers before accepting the Sheffield Wednesday role.

The 58-year-old claims he rejected the chance to manage another Championship club "within 20 minutes of leaving Aston Villa" last October. Bruce, a four-time promotion winner, steered Villa to the 2018 Championship play-off final, where they lost 1-0 to Fulham.

New Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce is excited about the Owls challenge

New Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce is excited about the Owls challenge

Although the ex-Manchester United centre-half was appointed Owls boss on January 2, he officially started on Thursday after completing a pre-arranged family holiday in the Caribbean. In Bruce's absence, assistant manager Steve Agnew, first-team coach Stephen Clemence and coach Lee Bullen held the fort.

Bruce, who has signed a 12-month rolling contract at Hillsborough, said: "I had an offer from the Championship within 20 minutes of leaving Aston Villa. I had four or five (offers) but I think it was vitally important that I had the break.

"I had a few offers from abroad which might have materialised but I really, really wanted the break more than anything. The family and I decided to compromise on four months rather than eight."

Why Chris Waddle is confident Steve Bruce will deliver success at Hillsborough

Bruce will be aiming to make a winning start to his tenure when he takes the Owls to rock-bottom Ipswich Town today.

While Bruce has not ruled out the possibility of mounting a late play-off tilt, he is under no illusions at the size of the task facing him as he looks to turn around Wednesday's fortunes.

On the Owls challenge, Bruce said: "When I drove to Hull, I had a few of my mates calling to ask, ‘Are you sure you know what you are doing?’

"I thought so then and I had the same feeling this time when I met the chairman. As eccentric as he is, I know where he wants the club to be.

"We talked about budgets and he said there is none. But he will try to help me where he can. We know the situation with FFP.

"I am confident, given time, I can get a team together that can challenge to be where the club needs to be."