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Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 16:51 GMT
Bruce eyes promotion
Steve Bruce is the new Birmingham manager
Bruce wants Birmingham to reach the top flight
New Birmingham boss Steve Bruce is determined to take the club into the Premier League.

And the former Manchester United captain has vowed to quit management if he fails to make a success of his five-year contract at St Andrews.

The wrangle between Bruce's former club Crystal Palace and Birmingham delayed his appointment.


This is a huge club and if I can get them where they want - the Premiership - then I'll be happy
Steve Bruce

Palace chairman Simon Jordan won a High Court injunction to prevent Bruce leaving for Blues until he had worked a period of notice.

But now a compensation package has been agreed and Bruce has returned to City, where he spent two seasons as a player after leaving Old Trafford.

He said: "It has been a frustrating six to eight weeks for me and I am delighted to be back at work. I've missed it and the last few weeks have not been easy.

"I can understand in a way what Simon Jordan has done and can take it as a bit of a backhanded compliment because when I left Palace we were top of the First Division.

Sleeping giant

"I have actually apologised to the supporters and players at Crystal Palace.

"But emotionally and professionally this is a step, going to Birmingham City, which I thought was right for Steve Bruce.

"This is a huge club and if I can get them where they want - the Premiership - then I'll be happy and would have done my job because this is one of the true giants of the game.

"They've only had two managers in nine years and are very stable.

"In the last few years there has been big financial backing and investment in terms of bringing in players and redeveloping the stadium.


I will reject claims that I am disloyal - I can say that I hope to be here in five years time
Steve Bruce

Birmingham is Bruce's fifth club in just over three years following spells at Sheffield United, Huddersfield and Wigan - as well as Palace.

But he insisted: "I will reject claims that I am disloyal and if you look at my playing career I had four clubs in 25 years and no one questioned my loyalty then.

"I can say that I hope to be here in five years time and I think I can achieve what I want to achieve in the game with Birmingham.

"This gives me the platform that I have been striving for. If I don't achieve here, then it is the end of my managerial career."

Bruce has brought in Mark Bowen and John Benson as part of his backroom team to replace Jim Barron and Mick Mills who have left the club.

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Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce
"It's been very frustrating over the last few weeks"
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