Sheffield Wednesday: Steve Bruce targets record-breaking fifth promotion to the Premier League

New manager Steve Bruce is relishing the challenge of taking Sheffield Wednesday back to the Premier League as he targets a record fifth promotion from England's second-tier.

By Dom Howson
Thursday, 31st January 2019, 9:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 9:03 pm
Sheffield Wednesday chief Steve Bruce
Sheffield Wednesday chief Steve Bruce

The 58-year-old, who was appointed Owls boss on January 2, but officially took up his role on Thursday after completing a pre-planned family holiday in the Caribbean, has a proven track record at Championship level.

Bruce has won promotion to the top-flight on four occasions as a manager, twice each with Hull City and Birmingham City.

Sheffield Wednesday chief Steve Bruce

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You have to go back 19 years for the last time Wednesday dined at English football's top table. The Owls are currently in 17th position, 11 points outside of the play-off positions but Bruce has refused to rule out a promotion push.

Bruce, sacked by Aston Villa last October, with the club lying 12th in the Championship after reaching the play-off final in the 2017/18 season, told The Star: "I nearly got there (promotion) last summer but then got the sack four months later. That has to be the aim. It is why I keep working on.

"I honestly hope this is my last job. If I can do three or four years, that means in this day and age that you have done okay. It means you have been quite successful.

"After starting in Sheffield and finishing at Wednesday, that might be a good way to bow out."

The former Manchester United defender, who is on a one-year rolling contract, will have his work cut out to turn the Owls into promotion contenders. Wednesday are working under tough financial restraints as they aim to stay within the parameters of Profitability and Sustainability regulations.

"There is no magic wand," warned Bruce. "This team nearly got there so I owe it to them to let me show what they have got over the next three or four months.

"There are a lot out of contract. Their aim is to earn a new contract. That gives an opportunity to put a squad together capable of mounting a challenge."

He cited previous club Hull City’s recent upturn in form as proof of how quickly a team's fortunes can change.

Bruce, formally unveiled to the media at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, said: "We have just seen Hull win five or six. Fulham did (go on a run) last year. It is going to be very difficult but you can’t give up hope.

“We have got some good players who have probably been underperforming so we need to turn that around. It might be a long road. Everyone wants success instantly. There is a big job ahead."