Steve Bruce's First Day In Charge

1 February 2019, 07:42 | Updated: 1 February 2019, 07:45

Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce declared himself fighting fit when introduced to the media as Sheffield Wednesday's new manager.

The 58-year-old was appointed on January 2nd, but officially took up his role yesterday after completing a pre-arranged family holiday in the Caribbean.

Bruce took time out from football after his mother and father died last year and he was sacked by Aston Villa in October.

"Physically I'm great, emotionally I'm great," Bruce said.

"It's been well documented about what happened over the last few weeks, few months for me, so I'm delighted to be the new Wednesday manager and I've started today.

"There's been a bit of a furore over the last few weeks, but I spoke to the chairman and told him the issues I had and he was prepared to say 'okay'.

"He wanted me to start straight away, but as I said, we couldn't, but I'm glad to be here and delighted to get started."

Bruce, who has had his own health issues since departing Villa Park, said he was not surprised by the criticism he has received for delaying his Hillsborough start.

"It doesn't surprise me anymore that people are ready to cast aspersions against you when they don't know the facts," he said.

Owls' caretaker boss Lee Bullen, assistant manager Steve Agnew and first-team coach Stephen Clemence have been holding fort.

Bruce, whose first managerial job was with the Owls' city rivals Sheffield United in 1998, took training for the first time yesterday.

"I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think I could turn it round and get the club back where it wants to be," he said.

Bruce has won promotion to the Premier League four times, twice each with Hull and Birmingham, and was in charge of the Tigers when they beat Wednesday in the 2016 Championship play-off final.

He has also had stints in charge of the Blades, Huddersfield, Wigan (twice), Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Villa.

"I only get jobs if I've managed across the city," said Bruce, referring to his previous jobs at Birmingham, Villa and Sheffield United.

"It doesn't bother me at all. It was a long time ago (at Sheffield United). It was my first managerial job and this might be my last.

"I didn't think twice. I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to go back into management, but when I got the phone call from the chairman (Dejphon Chansiri) and met his enthusiasm when we got face-to-face - he wants this club to be successful.

"That started the old adrenaline a bit to say 'let's get back on the horse again.'"