Steve Bruce outlines his ideal Sheffield Wednesday squad size

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Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce admits he wants to significantly trim the size of his squad.

The Owls, who host relegation-threatened Reading in Bruce's first home match in charge on Saturday, have more than 30 senior professionals on their books. There are a host of Wednesday players out of contract this summer, including Keiren Westwood, George Boyd, Kieran Lee and Gary Hooper.

Steve Bruce wants to work with a smaller Sheffield Wednesday squad

Steve Bruce wants to work with a smaller Sheffield Wednesday squad

Although Bruce has stated every player in the squad will have the chance to prove themselves between now and the end of the season, the four-time promotion winner has made it clear his strikeforce is too big.

Bruce prefers to work with a squad of between 23 to 24 first-team players, with the remainder made of youngsters coming through their academy.

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Asked what his optimum squad size for Wednesday would be, Bruce told The Star: "A squad of 23 to 24 is enough these days and then that, of course, opens up the door for the young ones to train with the first-team if you've got one or two injuries.

"We will eventually head towards that size and that is what I have always tried to do but it is a while off yet. At the moment, the players are all training hard and working as best as they can."

Bruce wants a mix of youth and experience.

"It is what we have got to try and accomplish if we can," he said. "It is wonderful when it happens.

"It is going to be difficult to get there but the right blend I believe is essential for the rigours of the Championship."