Play-off push is not beyond Sheffield Wednesday, says Steve Bruce

NEW Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce has cited previous club Hull City’s recent surge into the play-off reckoning as proof that a similar charge up the table is not beyond his new charges.

New Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce. (Picture: Chris Etchells)

The 58-year-old took training earlier today on his first day at Hillsborough before then meeting the media.

Bruce inherits a side sitting 17th in the table, 11 points clear of the dropzone and 11 points adrift of the play-offs.

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A charge for the top six seems a tall order but the new Owls chief points to how the Tigers went from third bottom in the table at the start of December to eighth place before slipping back courtesy of last weekend’s defeat at Blackburn Rovers.

“The immediate priority is to be successful,” said Bruce, when asked about his aims for the rest of the season.

“We have just seen Hull win five or six. Fulham did (go on a run) last year. It is going to be very difficult but you can’t give up hope.

“We have got some good players who have probably been underperforming so we need to turn that around. It might be a long road. Everyone wants success instantly. There is a big job ahead.”

Bruce was appointed on January 2 but was unable to take up the post until today due to a variety of reasons.

Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, both on his coaching staff at Hull and Aston Villa, have held the reins in the meantime, while remaining in regular contact with Bruce.

The new Owls chief added: “In the back of my mind, of course, I have (already started the job). I am delighted to get started today.

“I took training this morning for the first time. I look forward to the long road ahead. I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think I could turn it around and get the club back to where it wants to be.

“Against Chelsea (when Wednesday lost 3-0 in the FA Cup last Sunday), it reminded me of what a big club needs which is support and I hope I can make them happy again.”