Date:Tuesday March 14 2006
Blues co-owner David Gold has 'promised' Blues fans that Steve Bruce will still manage the club next season, irrespective of whether the club are relegated.
The co-owner has admitted he would feel a 'failure' were Blues to face the drop, yet the man regarded by many as the source of Blues' problems, manager Bruce, is apparently 'secure' in his position.
He told the Birmingham Mail: 'The pursuit to return to the Premiership would be as powerful a driving force as it is presently to stay up. Steve Bruce's job has also never been so secure. We are supporting the manager completely.
'He has got such a massive job to do. Although that involves saving the club from relegation, if we go down I promise you Steve Bruce, subject to contractual arrangements, will still be the boss at the beginning of next season.'
Although his determination to stick by his manager is perhaps admirable, it does make you wonder what this man must do to face even a tiny bit of criticism from the board.
For many, the club has been regressing in the past 18 months. Although there have been a variety of reason suggested for this, what is certain is that the style of play we have used for this time is not working.
Furthermore, Bruce's team selections and substitutions have at times been nothing short of baffling. The Geordie is in a high-pressure job, where each of his decisions are closely scrutinised. However, despite spending large amounts of the board's money on disappointing players, and making bizarre decisions time and again - yet not seeming to learn from these - he is apparently in the strongest position he has ever been in.
'Managerial changes yield mixed results' is what we are being told by the board. For every Glenn Roeder at Newcastle there is a Harry Redknapp at Southampton. This is of course true - but Bruce has made several promises to turn things around, yet as you read this, the team are currently 10 games from the end of the season, seemingly unable to beat (or even compete) against the team one place above them.
Is the board's decision a correct one? Only time will tell. Can Steve Bruce deliver on his promises to keep us up? The run-in does not look promising: but the team seem to compete better against the bigger sides, and any team managed by Bruce (so we are told) does not go down without a fight.
The last three games, in which a total of seven points from nine was apparently needed, has yielded just four. The situation is, as you do not need reminding, desperate. Can anything be gained from Steve Bruce's departure at this point? The answer is that we will never know. But every Bluenose will be praying that Bruce can turn things around in the last ten games - and whilst he is still here, everyone must pull together to help the team avoid relegation.
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