Steve Bruce has been confirmed as the new manager of Championship side West Bromwich Albion. Bruce arrives at the Hawthorns with an 18-month contract, becoming the second man to manage the Baggies, Aston Villa, and Birmingham City.
Steve Bruce Joins West Bromwich Albion an 18-Month Deal
Bruce is Back in Management After a Four-Month Break From His Last Position at Newcastle United
The 61-year-old left Newcastle United in October 2021 following their takeover. When leaving Newcastle, Bruce became disillusioned with management and even considered retirement due to the abuse. Despite this, Bruce will now embark on a new mission. Key to the appointment is the board’s belief in Bruce and promotion. West Brom are sixth in the Championship, just inside the play-off places by goal difference. They sit eight points off the closest spot for automatic promotion, currently held by Blackburn.
As reported by the Guardian, Steve Bruce said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to manage a club that has such great history and tradition. It is a club I obviously know well from my time in the Midlands, and I am already relishing the challenge of taking it forward. He continued with a statement of intent: “I am coming in with one aim and that is to get Albion to the Premier League.”
Bruce has previously won promotion to the top-tier with Birmingham and Hull City.
The Challenge Ahead
West Brom are slipping slowly down the league but there are 17 games left to play, which means time is on their side. However, the Baggies are in a worrying decline in the standings. Four defeats in six games leave them just clinging onto the play-off place they occupy. Bruce needs to hit the ground running. Bringing his backroom staff of Stephen Clemence and Steve Agnew will help somewhat.
Ron Gourlay, the Baggies new CEO, is the mastermind behind the Steve Bruce deal. Gourlay set his sights on Bruce quickly as the new CEO gets to grips with the task at hand. Within hours of taking over from Xu Ke, Gourlay sacked former manager Valérien Ismaël and appoint Bruce.
Speaking on the appointment, Gourlay said: “Steve is a highly-respected and experienced manager who has an impressive record of earning promotion to the Premier League. His excellent man-management skills, tactical nous and ability to hit the ground running were among the many reasons we decided he was the man to take us forward.”
Gourlay is an experienced CEO within football and he wastes no time in rolling out his plan. And it is clear what the aim is: promotion.