Sheffield Wednesday: What Chris Wilder had to say about Steve Bruce's shock Hillsborough departure

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder says he was not surprised by Steve Bruce’s shock decision to leave Sheffield Wednesday with only three weeks to go until the start of the season.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 11:45 am
Chris Wilder is understood to be good friends with former Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce

Bruce, a former Blades boss himself, played his part in forcing a move to his boyhood club Newcastle United, with whom he returns to the Steel City for a Premier League clash tomorrow evening.

The move, which after days of speculation was reportedly announced to Wednesday officials by Newcastle on social media, left the Hillsborough club with no manager heading into their season opener at Reading.

Caretaker boss Lee Bullen did a fine job in holding things together and now-manager Garry Monk was appointed on September 6.

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But Wilder, who is understood to be a close friend of Bruce’s, said: “There was lots of talk in this area about this decision and it was a decision that did not surprise me at all.”

He went on to praise the former Manchester United captain for his attitude in assisting young managers.

Wilder said: “I have talked long and hard about the importance of LMA (League Managers' Association) from a young manager's point of view. And Steve has certainly been there for myself and a lot of new managers.

“Steve is one alongside Sean Dyche, Sam (Allardyce) and other people who pick up the phone to you. I have spoken to him in the summer and a quite a number of times.

Many Newcastle fans resisted news of Bruce’s appointment and much has been made of the fact that the North East club are performing better this season than at the same stage last, with high-profile name Rafael Benitez in charge.

“He is an experienced manager,” said Wilder, “You are not just given jobs in the Premier League if you are bang average and Steve isn't bang average as a manager and a person. I speak to him quite regularly and I am certainly not surprised by the job he is doing at Newcastle.

“It is a big, big job and a huge football club and one that needed a big personality and they have certainly got one in Steve.”