Sheffield Wednesday: Steve Bruce – A Geordie assuredness and determination to get Owls moving once again

"They bounced Wembley that day and I thought what an unbelievable club that would be to get moving."

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 8:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 8:18 pm
Steve Bruce. Picture: Chris Etchells

It was always going to come back to that sunny afternoon in the capital for Steve Bruce.

As the noise subsided at Wembley, he sat in the vast media amphitheatre in the bowels of the stadium, exhausted from several sapping hours during which his Hull City side had beaten Wednesday to reach the Premier League.

Steve Bruce meets with the media for the first time as Sheffield Wednesday boss. Picture: Chris Etchells

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And despite his achievement with a troubled club and in the face of uncertainty over his own future, he could not resist a nod to the Wednesdayites that had kept the noise up at deafening levels throughout 90 minutes - even after falling behind, even after being condemned to defeat.

When the question came on Thursday afternoon as to why he was stepping back into management with the Owls, it was memories of that day that quickly fell from his lips.

Bruce, looking much more fresh of face and lively than he did that day, now finds himself as the latest man tasked to 'get moving' Sheffield Wednesday once again.

A taste of Mediterranean flair had temporarily jolted them back to life before stagnation that continued and worsened under the rule of Western European sombreness.

Now comes Geordie self-assuredness.

As he met the media for the first time on the first day of his tenth job in management, Bruce looked every inch a man who had been there, done it and gone back to do it again.

For those Wednesdayites who sang long and loud at Wembley, that should be music to the ears.

There was no charm offensive nor an effort to simply say the right things. Nor was there a need for either.

Bruce brought with him the sort of assurance that says don't worry, I've got this.

"If you put that microphone down then maybe I can get out of here and get working on it."

When it comes to Wednesday, Bruce possess a clear eagerness to indeed get working on it.

Here, with a jokey answer that drew laughter from the assembled media comfortable in his presence , he was referring to transfer activity on deadline day.

In truth, he had already taken care of that, finalising three deals before arriving fashionably late for his maiden media outing as Wednesday boss.

His arrival as Owls boss may have been a little too fashionably late for some, but Bruce demonstrated that the month between taking the job and officially starting it was not spent laying on a sun lounger in the Caribbean.

He looks healthier than he has done for some time, fresh with a glow a week in tropical climes will bring. And he spoke like a man revitalised and ready to get back into a job he had serious doubts about ever taking on again.

But among the rest and relaxation he was determined to get, he has certainly been doing his homework.

There were no big claims, no big promises or extravagant soundbites that fill so many introductory press conferences.

Bruce knows exactly what he has got himself into and is not afraid to lay it out.

He spoke of players underperforming and of long term injuries, suggested both will be closely examined as he looks to kick-start what has been a sluggish season to say the least.

But he also spoke of the possibilities a good run of wins can bring and a gap to glory that can quickly narrow. Enough genuine positivity to suggest the season is not over just yet.

Re-energised and re-enthused, he knows there is the potential for great things ahead.

It comes back again to that sunny afternoon in the capital.

And it comes back to just how exciting it would be to be the man to get Sheffield Wednesday moving and get Wednesdayites bouncing once again.