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Bruce says sorry?

December 12 2001

Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce

New Birmingham manager Steve Bruce said he has apologised to the Crystal Palace players and supporters - but nobody can remember him saying it.

Bruce had been on 'gardening leave' as Simon Jordan had a court injuction making sure he served his notice period. But compensation between the two clubs has now been agreed.

Now Bruce has signed a five-year contract at St Andrews thinking he has made a step up to a bigger club.

He said: "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.

"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.

Bruce then went on to go on about the myth of Birmingham being a sleeping giant.

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

"All the ingredients are there to make this club very successful. We have to aim for the Premiership and this is a very good squad.

"Now it is up to me to get the best out of the lads. In terms of depth and strength there is a lot there and I will be giving everyone their chance."

Birmingham is Bruce's fifth club in three years with many people feeling Bruce is disloyal.

But he said: "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."

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