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

Sheffield Wednesday great Chris Waddle is convinced Steve Bruce is the right man to lead the Owls back to the Premier League.

Friday, 1st February 2019, 11:43 am
Updated Friday, 1st February 2019, 11:48 am
Sheffield Wednesday legend Chris Waddle

Bruce officially took up his new role yesterday after completing a pre-planned family holiday in the Caribbean.

The 58-year-old, who has taken charge of more than 880 matches in his 21-year managerial career, has won promotion from the Championship four times in his career. He led both Birmingham City and Hull City to the Premier League twice - winning a play-off final with each club.

Sheffield Wednesday legend Chris Waddle

Waddle, who enjoyed a fine spell at Hillsborough as a player between 1992 and 1996, said: "Steve Bruce is the man to take Sheffield Wednesday to the Premier League. Bruce has an amazing track record of success in the Championship.

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"He knows what to do and how to get out of it. With the right backing, Steve Bruce can take Sheffield Wednesday to the Premier League."

The former England international accepts a top-six may be beyond Wednesday this season. With 18 matches remaining, the Owls are currently 17th in the standings, 11 points adrift of the play-off placings.

New Wednesday manager Steve Bruce

"I’d love to see Sheffield Wednesday sneak a promotion this season, but realistically I think they will be looking to clear out the squad with so many players nearing the end of their contracts and start again in the summer," said Waddle. "When Bruce gets the players that he wants, I feel he is more than capable of getting Sheffield Wednesday into the Premier League."

Bruce was appointed Owls boss on Jos Luhukay's successor on January 2, but it was agreed he would not take charge of the team until tomorrow's Championship clash at bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town.

The former Manchester United skipper took time out from football after his mother and father died in 2018 and he was sacked by Aston Villa in October.

He was criticised in some quarters for delaying his starting date, with pundits Danny Murphy and Ruud Gullit questioning why Bruce did not start sooner.

"I don’t think too many fans have an issue with Steve Bruce taking a short break before taking over as manager at Sheffield Wednesday," said Waddle. "I think the vast majority of fans understand the difficult circumstances and the promises that he had made to his family.

"The board were aware and were happy to appoint him on that basis. I think Danny Murphy and other pundits criticising Steve Bruce should be knowledgeable and respect the decision that has been made."