Steve Bruce targets Premier League return during unveiling as new Hull manager


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The Independent Football

Steve Bruce targeted a return to the Barclays Premier League after being installed as the new manager of Hull today.

Former Sunderland and Wigan boss Bruce, 51, succeeds Nick Barmby, who was sacked by his hometown club last month for questioning the owners' ambitions in the media.

Bruce, who has signed a three-year contract, had been an early favourite with bookmakers to replace Barmby, but only last week his agent Robert Segal claimed the former Manchester United skipper had not been approached by the club and had not expressed an interest in becoming the Tigers' fifth manager in just short of 15 months.

Bruce told a press conference today: "I'm looking to bring back the Premier League days if we possibly can, that's the reason I'm sitting here, for the challenge of it.

"There were a few weeks of talks and negotiations and I'm now relishing the challenge of getting the club back to where it wants to be."

Hull were a Premier League side for two seasons from 2008 to 2010.

Ambitious owners Assem and Ehab Allam sacked Barmby and head of football operations Adam Pearson at the beginning of last month for publicly criticising their financial commitment to the club.

Billy Davies, Uwe Rosler, Lee Clark, Gary Megson, Greg Abbott and Mick McCarthy had all been linked with the job of manager, but Bruce won out.

The former defender played for Gillingham, Norwich, Manchester United, Birmingham and Sheffield United during a 20-year playing career.

He steered Birmingham to promotion to the Premier League via a penalty shootout win over Norwich in the play-off final in his first season at St Andrew's after short spells as manager at Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Wigan and Crystal Palace.

Birmingham stayed in the Premier League for two seasons before being relegated in 2006, but Bruce guided them to automatic promotion the following season.

Bruce quit the Blues for a second stint with Wigan in November 2007 and after keeping the Latics in the top flight he moved on to Sunderland in June 2009.

Sunderland finished 13th and 10th in the Premier League in his first two seasons in charge at the Stadium of Light, but he was sacked last November with the Black Cats languishing in 16th place.