Tuesday 27 September 2016

Steve Bruce keeps his fingers crossed after admitting to England interview

Published 19/07/2016 | 13:26

Steve Bruce, pictured left, has joined Sam Allardyce in the running for the England manager's job
Steve Bruce, pictured left, has joined Sam Allardyce in the running for the England manager's job

Hull boss Steve Bruce has confirmed he has been interviewed by the Football Association about the vacant England manager's job.

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The Tigers had earlier described the contact as "informal discussions", but Bruce revealed he had been in an interview which he hoped "went okay".

Hull s ay no official approach has been made by the FA and have echoed Sunderland, whose manager Sam Allardyce remains the front-runner despite developments, in calling for a swift decision.

And if Bruce, who is still manning Hull's pre-season preparations, gets his wish it will be him who gets the nod later this week.

"I never quite made it as a player, who wouldn't (want it)?" he said on Sky Sports News ahead of the Tigers' friendly at Mansfield. "If you're English and it means something to you, who wouldn't?.

"It has to be the prime job that any Englishman would want to have. Yes it's difficult, we know that, but there's something in you.

"I am highly flattered to be even considered and extremely grateful to be considered. If anything happens, let's see what the rest of the week brings and if it does then happy days.

"In an interview you never know, I hope it went okay, I got my point across and let's hope it was successful.

"But then again I am up against a big pal of mine in Sam, who has always had a good job over the years. Apparently there are some other candidates who are there too and to be in the mix I am highly flattered because any Englishman worth their salt would be extremely, extremely proud to be England manager.

"What I said to them in the interview has to remain there. But we have to take away the fear in tournaments, somehow. We have only won one of our last seven games in tournaments and we have got some good players...t hat has to be the main thing."

Bruce's admission contradicts an earlier statement from his club, which said there had been no formal interview, but the Yorkshire club are calling for a quick resolution.

It read: "The club can confirm that manager Steve Bruce has held informal discussions regarding the England vacancy, although no official approach has been received from the FA.

"We would hope to see the FA conclude their business quickly in order to avoid further speculation regarding Steve ahead of what is a season of huge importance for the club following our return to the Premier League."

Allardyce was the subject of an official approach and subsequently held talks with the three-man panel of FA technical director Dan Ashworth, chief executive Martin Glenn and vice-chairman David Gill last week.

He is heavy favourite for a job he came to close to landing a decade ago, but Bruce remains under consideration.

Like Allardyce, he is an experienced home-grown coach who has made his reputation at the lower end of the Premier League.

His coaching career began with brief assignments at Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Wigan and Crystal Palace but he put a reputation for itchy feet behind him during a largely successful six-year stay at Birmingham.

He went on to manage Wigan and Sunderland before joining Hull, where he has overseen two promotions to the Premier League, one relegation and a first ever FA Cup final appearance in 2014.

As a player, Bruce was a highly decorated captain of Manchester United and was rated as one of the finest players never to be capped by England.

Eddie Howe, the 38-year-old Bournemouth manager, has also been discussed as a youthful candidate, while German great Jurgen Klinsmann appears to be the last overseas option standing.

The FA's interview process began last week and, with a board meeting scheduled for Thursday, events could be building to a head.

The new manager's first match will be a Wembley friendly on September 1, three days before the World Cup qualifier in Slovakia.

Discussions with possible opponents are already under way and may be concluded before the managerial position is filled.

Press Association

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