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Press Conference hot topics: Bruce on Norwich, Ray Wilkins, a defining week and record season ticket sales

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Press Conference hot topics: Bruce on Norwich, Ray Wilkins, a defining week and record season ticket sales

Steve Bruce spoke to the media at Bodymoor Heath on Friday morning.

There he discussed Saturday's match at Norwich City, standout performer Birkir Bjarnason, a crucial week in our bid for promotion and much more.

His thoughts are in full below...

On the passing of Ray Wilkins...

I know Ray worked here and he had an effect everywhere he went. One of the chef's here was asking me the other morning how he was. 

That's how well thought of he was here. He was a really genuine man and was blessed with a great ability to play football, too. 

I can't reiterate that enough, having played against him on a number of occasions.

I used to think, as a lot of us did, 'why don't we all look like him on a football pitch?' He always looked the part. 

And you don't play for Chelsea, Man United, Milan and Rangers unless you're an outstanding footballer.

At 61, you can't help but feel 'what a waste'. It must be so difficult for his family.

I had the pleasure of having dinner with him and going out with him a number of times. He was a genuinely good man who will be sadly missed by us all.

It'll be a fitting tribute to him tomorrow, it's just sad he's gone so quickly.

On going into the game with a win under our belts after a tough few weeks...

It's good to get back on track after a difficult few weeks and it's now a really important game tomorrow.

They all are now. We're right in the thick of it. 

We had a decent result the other day. We'll watch what happens between the top two tonight and see where it leaves things.

On three games in seven days...

It's a defining week, which comes straight after three other games we've played.

We've spoken about it many, many times. That's the Championship and how difficult it is.

It does become an endurance test. It won't be easy, but we'll see where we are in a week's time.


On the impressive Birkir Bjarnsason...

There's no denying that he had a difficult start here. He had his best performance here the other night, though, and topped it off with a wonderful goal.

I left him alone against Hull because he'd just been to America.

But he looked as fresh as a daisy against Reading and has put in some great performances since the turn of the year.

I'm delighted for him because he's had to be patient. The other night he played as if to say 'don't you dare leave me out again'. 

Fair play to him.

On Jonathan Kodjia's reemergence...

He had a few chances to score the other night, and we wouldn't have been surprised if he'd have stuck two away.

It's good to see him on the pitch. We think he can have some sort of impact, although we have to be careful because he's been out for the best part of a year.

He reminded us the other day when he dropped that shoulder and pulled out the odd trick that he's a very good player.

It's probably a bit early for him to start, but ideally we can bring him on when we're two or three nil up again.

On John Terry and Albert Adomah being named in Championship Team of the Season...

It's fully deserved on both their parts. I've not seen the whole team but knew they'd been picked in it. 

Well done to them both.


On the role Norwich City played in his career...

It was a long time ago now but I really enjoyed it and my two children were born there.

It was the club that really gave me a chance. We were playing in the top division at the time and it was great to get the move to what was a very good side.

It was a very happy time in my career because they gave me the chance to play in the big league.

I'll always be grateful for that. And it wasn't a bad place to live, either. It's a nice part of the world.

On where the Canaries are at the moment...

It shows you how difficult it is. They were in the Premier League two years ago.

It can easily turn into a really tough season, as it has for Hull and Sunderland, who were also in the top flight last year.

Norwich are in a transitional period, because it's very difficult to deal with the fallout of not being in the Premier League.


On Alan Hutton and Axel Tuanzebe...

Alan won't make it tomorrow, he's had a reaction to his hamstring injury.

With Axel, I purposely left him out against Reading. He's not played a lot of football all season.

Two games in three days was a big ask for him.

On record season ticket renewals over the last few months...

That's quite remarkable. I've said from the day I walked in, the one thing you need is support. 

It's what makes you a big club. All year, they've been unbelievable in their numbers. The way they support their club is how it should be.

When I hear that it's record sales, I hope that means they think the club is back on the right track again.

It's refreshing to hear. Well done to them.

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Dan Connor
By @danconnor 6th April 2018