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Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Steve Bruce in focus
Steve Bruce
Bruce has had a chequered managerial career
BBC Sport Online's Mandeep Sanghera looks at the managerial career of Steve Bruce in the wake of his appointment as Crystal Palace's new manager.

Steve Bruce's arrival at Selhurst Park is the latest chapter in the former Manchester United defender's stop-start managerial career.

He has had spells in charge at Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town and, most recently and briefly, Wigan Athletic.

But the 40-year-old has found the success he enjoyed as a player hard to come by in the managerial world.

  The Steve Bruce journey
1978-84: Gillingham
1984-87:Norwich City
1987-96: Manchester United
1996-98: Birmingham City
2 July, 1998-May, 1999:Joined Sheffield United as manager
24 May, 1998-October, 2000: Huddersfield Town
April, 2001-May, 2001: Wigan Athletic
A combative and commanding central defender, Bruce started out at Gillingham and went on to make more than 200 appearances for the Kent club.

Norwich were suitably impressed by his exploits and signed him for 125,000.

They were repaid when Bruce helped the Carrow Road club to League Cup glory and promotion to the old First Division.

Bruce's achievements in Norfolk brought the attentions of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson was in the process of taking the Old Trafford club to the peak of English football and Bruce went on to become an intergral part of the team after his 800,000 transfer.

His partnership with Gary Pallister in the heart of the defence flourished and Bruce helped the side to three Premier League titles, a League Cup, two FA Cups and a European Cup Winners' Cup victory before departing for Birmingham City.

Huddersfield disappointment

He spent two years at St. Andrews before assuming his first managerial role.

Bruce took over at Sheffield United but his tenure was brief and came to an abrupt end after 10 months when he left following claims that he had not been provided promised funds for his team building.

His next challenge was at Huddersfield Town and it seemed Bruce and the club were blossoming towards success.

The McAlpine outfit were winning admirers as they challenged for promotion to the top-flight.

But Huddersfield lacked the stamina to maintain their challenge and dropped out of the reckoning with a play-off place also proving elusive.

The encouraging signs continued to dwindle and the following season Bruce was sacked after just one win in Huddersfield's opening 11 games.

Old Trafford rumours

Bruce then flirted with work in the media during a seven-month absence from management before coming back into the game to take up the job at Wigan Athletic in April 2001.

The club reached the play-offs where they lost to Reading at the semi-final stage, but it seemed Bruce was set to realise the ambitions of the club by engineering a side capable of promotion from Division Two.

It was not to be as the lure of First Division Crystal Palace proved too great.

Rumours had circulated that Bruce was being lined up to be Ferguson's number two at Old Trafford because of the impending departure of Steve McClaren to Middlesbrough.

He has instead taken up the challenge at Crystal Palace where he will be hoping to realise both his and the club's potential.

See also:

31 May 01 |  Crystal Palace
Bruce takes up Palace post
06 Mar 01 |  Huddersfield Town
Bruce accused of 'wasting' 3m
29 May 01 |  Wigan Athletic
Bruce tipped for Palace job
21 Feb 01 |  QPR
QPR suffer Bruce snub
31 May 01 |  Photo Galleries
Steve Bruce in focus
Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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