Why Arsenal legend Martin Keown reckons Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce has his work cut out to get the Owls promoted

Pundit Martin Keown fears new Owls manager Steve Bruce could have a job on his hands to take the club back to the Premier League.

Monday, 4th February 2019, 11:01 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:20 pm
Ex England International Martin Keown

Bruce began life at Wednesday with a 1-0 win away to rock-bottom Ipswich Town last weekend after a late strike by substitute Lucas Joao. Victory lifted the Owls up to 16th and helped them cut the gap to the play-offs down to nine points.

But Wednesday are working under tough financial restraints.

Ex England International Martin Keown

Chairman Dejphon Chansiri, who has rejected a number of substantial offers since putting the club up for sale before Christmas, has warned another transfer embargo is “inevitable” if the Owls cannot sort out their finances by March. Wednesday were placed under a four-month transfer embargo in 2018 after falling foul of the Profitability and Sustainability rules.

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Speaking on BBC One show Football Focus, former Arsenal defender Keown said: "Steve has been promoted to the Premier League four times and that is some record. He just needs to apply that again.

"Whether he is going to have the resources there (at Wednesday) is another matter. There is talk that the club is up for sale which is another difficult circumstance for him.

Steve Bruce made a winning start as Sheffield Wednesday boss

"I think there is a lot resting on Steve Bruce's shoulders."

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur's midfielder Jermaine Jenas sees no reason why Wednesday under Bruce cannot emulate either Burnley or Bournemouth by securing promotion to the top-flight and establishing themselves at that level.

"If you look at those teams (Burnley and Bournemouth), they have a style of play which suits the Premier League and there is no doubt that Steve Bruce has a pedigree to get teams up from the Championship into the Premier League and that is obviously why Sheffield Wednesday have taken him on," said Jenas.

"But they have an identity which they stick to and I think Sheffield Wednesday have the players to go and do that so it is going to be an exciting job for Steve Bruce to take on."