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Press Conference hot topics: Bruce on fighting back, his best team, players' reaction and Ritchie De Laet

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Press Conference hot topics: Bruce on fighting back, his best team, players' reaction and Ritchie De Laet

Steve Bruce spoke to the media at the Recon Training Complex ahead of Saturday's visit to Blackburn Rovers.

His thoughts on the hot topics of the last fortnight can be seen in full below.


On his reflections over the international break...

The one thing you want as a manager is another game to come around quickly when you play badly.

So to wait two weeks has been disappointing and frustrating. But it also gives you a chance to dust yourself down and get ready.

The vast majority of the players have been away, so we've only just had them back in full yesterday.

We'll get ready for a big week ahead. The great thing is there's always the next match.

We're all disappointed by what happened at Sheffield United but we've got to go and get the next result now it starts again.

It's a chance to put it all right.

On it still being early days...

I think the majority of the supporters realise that we lost six players that nearly got us to the Premier League. We fell at the last hurdle and lost a good chunk of the team.

Then, for large parts of the summer, we couldn't do anything.

Then, the new owners come in and breath new life, and we manage to replace some of the ones we've lost.

Those five or six players now need time – to adjust and settle like last year.

It's been a case of rebuilding and starting again. That's the problem with the loan market and not making signings permanent.

I'm convinced the longer we go, the better we'll become. We have the makings of a very decent team and we have to prove it over the next 40 games.

On having his squad locked down for the next three months at least...

We can now concentrate on the squad we have and what lies ahead.

We've let eight players go on loan to try and balance the books. We're still wary of FFP. We have to be.

We can now move on and knuckle down with our season, which, in essence, is just about to start.


On getting a reaction from the players...

There will be a reaction. I'm convinced of it.

They're as disappointed as all of us.

They want and need another game, and they've got three in a big week for us to put it right.

On Blackburn Rovers...

I've got a lot of respect for Tony Mowbray. He's acquired well over the years.

He took on the job in difficult circumstances, and then got them promoted last season.

They're now kicking on and are confident. It'll be a tough game, that's for sure.


On a good selection headache across midfield and up front...

Last year, we went without Jonathan Kodjia for most of the season, Jack Grealish for half of it and John Terry for three months, and almost made it.

So it's all about having a squad and competition for places. That's the biggest weapon I've got. 

I haven't managed to pick my best side yet. It's my job now to get a settled, functional team who can thrive in the Championship and mount a challenge.


On Ritchie De Laet departing on loan to Melbourne City...

It's been disappointing and frustrating for Ritchie. He suffered a big injury early on in his time here.

I've got Ahmed Elmohamady, James Bree and Alan Hutton still there. So it was only right that I let him get on with his career.

Ideally, we'd have transfer fees with some of these loans. But it frees up the wage bill a little, anyhow.

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 14th September 2018