After former Sheffield Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay was sacked in December, there was a lot of anticipation as to who his replacement would be.
Therefore, when former Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce was appointed, some fans may have been somewhat disappointed. But they won’t if he does what he does best: get The Owls promoted.
Bruce has earned promotion four times during his managerial career, and was agonisingly close to making it a fifth in 2018 with Aston Villa. Despite his successful 2017/18 season, his struggles this season with Villa were not enough to salvage his tenure at Villa Park.
Now Bruce is not regarded as a flashy manager, neither is he known to play particularly attractive football. But he is solid, and gets results. Seeing as The Owls never looked particularly flashy under Luhukay, and they were certainly not solid, this will be a welcome relief to the fans. Bruce will surely add some structure and reliability to a Wednesday defence that has been worryingly porous.
With his arrival, owner Dejphon Chansiri still has his eyes set on promotion, and as wild as that may seem, he has the right man at the helm to achieve such a dream, be it this year or next. This time last year, Bruce’s Aston Villa were fourth in the Championship with 44 points; his Wednesday team are 16th in the table with 32 points- this is a mountain to climb.
Then again, Fulham were tenth in the table with 39 points at this stage last season- so there is still hope.
It will not be easy for Bruce, but he is a man that is capable of the challenge, but he may need time. Fans cannot object if they do not get promoted this season, providing they take steps in the right direction. First thing first for the manager is to secure the future of star players like Adam Reach that are embroiled in a number of transfer rumours. Then he can build for a promotion push.
From the manager’s perspective, he is joining a club with an ambitious owner, that will surely have the same visions that he does. This is the perfect chance for him to redeem his reputation.