Danny Murphy responds to criticism over comments about Steve Bruce’s start date at Sheffield Wednesday

Ex-Liverpool midfielder and Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy has admitted he “didn’t have all the information” when he questioned Steve Bruce’s decision to delay his start as Sheffield Wednesday manager.

By Nancy Frostick
Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 11:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 11:29 am
Danny Murphy and Steve Bruce
Danny Murphy and Steve Bruce

Murphy came under fire after appearing as a pundit on the BBC’s coverage of Wednesday’s 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Chelsea on Sunday night, when he said Bruce had “made a rod for his own back” if he does not get off to a good start as Owls boss.

But the former Blackburn player has responded to his critics, saying that he did not have all the information and did not intend to belittle Bruce’s grief.

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Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT, Murphy said: “Where I’ll hold my hands up is I gave the answer without all of the information, which is my fault.

“Steve Bruce I think, maybe contractually, is limited in what he can do, which is fair enough. I don’t know the detail of it but that’s what I've been lead to believe and I would never want to belittle anybody’s grief or stress because I have been through that myself losing my father and lots of other things.

“But I just thought that being an ex-Sheffield United manager and without knowledge of the things I have just said, it doesn’t look great unfortunately for him when the cameras are trying to pick him up watching the cricket and Sheffield Wednesday fans are thinking we’re in a bit of a relegation scrap and he could be here.

“If he doesn’t have the choice to be there then that’s a very different thing.”

Danny Murphy and Steve Bruce

Bruce has been spending time with his family on holiday in the Caribbean as he watched England’s cricket team face the West Indies while Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence have taken charge of coaching duties with the Owls in his absence.

The new Wednesday manager revealed earlier in the week that he had promised his father in law that they would go and watch the international series.

Last year both of Bruce’s parents passed away, before he was sacked as Aston Villa manager in October.

Murphy said: “I like Steve Bruce, I’ve met him and he’s a good guy.

“This isn’t a slant against Steve Bruce’s capabilities, he’s a super manager and Sheffield Wednesday have done really well getting him. 

“The perception among football supporters is if he comes in and doesn’t start too well, because he’s managed Sheffield United you know the rivalry there, they won’t have the detail as I didn’t of why he’s there and what he’s doing there.

“We all say things that we look back on and think we probably shouldn’t have said.”

Ruud Gullit, who was also working as a pundit on Match of the Day, suggested that if it was Manchester United who had asked him to come back into management then Bruce may have called off the trip