Whelan helped restore Bruce’s faith in ‘the job’

Hull City manager Steve Bruce, speaks during an FA Cup Media day at the KC Stadium, Hull. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Hull. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.paphotos.com/info/ for full restrictions and further information.

Hull City manager Steve Bruce, speaks during an FA Cup Media day at the KC Stadium, Hull. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Hull. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.paphotos.com/info/ for full restrictions and further information.

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DON REVIE, the last manager to bring the FA Cup to Yorkshire, is immortalised in bronze outside Elland Road.

But if Hull City can overcome the odds and beat Arsenal at Wembley, don’t expect Steve Bruce to be too enamoured with the prospect of a statue of himself being erected outside the home of Hull City.

“The pigeons would just s*** on it,” laughed the Tigers manager. “Mind, the fans of (previous club) Sunderland would like that, wouldn’t they?”

Amid the joshing, Bruce appreciates the support he has had since arriving in East Yorkshire a little under two years ago.

Back then, he was badly wounded by a difficult spell in charge at the Stadium of Light that had seen his reign end amid recrimination.

It left Bruce feeling low, probably as low as he had been since the early days of a managerial career that began with Sheffield United in 1998.

“After my second job at Huddersfield,” he recalls, “I thought to myself, ‘I’m not really cut out for all this nonsense, a chairman telling you things that are not the truth and what you should and shouldn’t say’.

“The whole politics of management really got to me, and I just thought: ‘Do I want all this?’ If it wasn’t for Dave Whelan proving to me what a proper chairman was like at Wigan, I might not have carried on.

“With him, I just thought, ‘Wow, this is a bit different.’ I might have gone into the media otherwise.

“I had a wonderful offer from Sky TV, and I thought long and hard about it.”

Sky’s loss has proved to be City’s gain, as Bruce acknowledges. “It has been a good fit, more than I could ever have envisaged,” said the City chief.

“Coming here allowed me to go under the radar for six months, which sometimes you need. I’d worked hard for 10 to 11 years to try and get a big job but it had not worked out.

“I just wanted to dust myself down and get ready to go again. And see what I could do. Thankfully, things have gone well and, here we are, looking forward to an FA Cup final.”

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