New Sheffield Wednesday chief Steve Bruce defends decision to watch England’s cricketers

Incoming Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce has defended his decision to delay taking up his post as Owls boss until after his trip to the Caribbean.

Steve Bruce

The appearance of the former Hull City and Huddersfield Town boss watching England play the West Indies in Barbados last week led to criticism of Bruce, particularly from Ruud Gullit and Danny Murphy when working as pundits on the BBC’s coverage of Wednesday’s FA Cup tie with Chelsea on Sunday.

Bruce was appointed as Jos Luhukay’s successor as Wednesday manager on January 2 but informed the club he would not be able to take up the post until February 1 (this Friday).

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In an interview with The Telegraph, Bruce defended his decision to delay taking up the post for a month.

“I have had two operations and I’ve been recovering in Barbados,” said Bruce, who takes charge of Wednesday for the first time at Ipswich Town on Saturday.

“I did not hide anything from Sheffield Wednesday and they were perfectly happy with the plan. It was done with their full support.

“I wouldn’t have taken the job if they were not aware of the situation and what I needed to have done. I was completely open and honest with them when we talked about me taking the job.

“It is extremely disappointing that people have tried to make something negative out of it.

“People also have to realise that I had an extremely tough year in 2018, losing both my parents and I’d promised those close to me that I’d take a break.

“It took a lot out of me emotionally, it really did, and this is something I needed to do.”