Former Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Brom boss surprise favourite for League Two job

The ex-Birmingham City and Aston Villa boss is currently out of the game
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Former Birmingham City and Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has emerged as the favourite for the Gillingham job. The League Two side are in the hunt for a new manager. They parted company with Neil Harris earlier this month and placed Keith Millen in interim charge. The Kent outfit are aiming for promotion to League One this season.

Bruce, 62, started his career at Gillingham and played 237 games for them as a player. He is currently out of the dugout and has been weighing up his next move in the game. His last managerial role came at West Brom but he was dismissed in October last year. Speaking after his sacking by the Baggies, Bruce admitted earlier this year it may have been his last job in management.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I'm looking at it now, the last job in particular hasn't gone so well. So is it time to 'okay, can I see if I can be without it?' Certainly, I've enjoyed it," Bruce told the Die For Three Points Podcast. "Has it been difficult? Of course it has, if you're going to go into management there is going to be difficult moments ahead.

"I don't think you can ever say never, but at this moment in time I am bordering on that way [retiring]. After what happened at Newcastle, personally, and what the family went through, I did question it [retirement] - but within four months I'm making myself look a right mug because up taking another job.

"I honestly thought maybe, genuinely, it's time. Do I really want to put the family through it? When you are getting all sorts of threats and they want to try and burn your house down and things like that, it became really difficult for the family.

"The biggest thing is what do you do with your time, because in football, you are institutionalised a bit. When it comes to an end it becomes very difficult for a lot of footballers. It's the most difficult thing we all have to deal with. It's the same with management. It grabs such a hold of you, when you have enjoyed it like I have - how you deal with it becomes an issue. How do you deal with the next step of your life? How do you get away from it? I'm trying to go through that now if I'm being honest. The big thing is what you do with the time."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bruce is the 3/1 favourite on BetVictor followed by Crawley Town’s Scott Lindsey at 5/1, Karl Robinson at 6/1, Bromley’s Andy Woodman at 10/1 and Monserrat’s Lee Bowyer at 10/1. He played for Birmingham before managing them from 2001 to 2007 and guided them to promotion to the top flight twice. Aston Villa then brought him back to the Midlands in October 2016 and he spent two years in charge at Villa Park, winning 45.1% of matches at the helm.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.