Town's Championship play-off rivals West Bromwich Albion appoint Steve Bruce as manager

New West Bromwich Albion boss Steve BruceNew West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Bruce
New West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Bruce
Experienced campaigner takes over at the Hawthorns

Luton's Championship rivals West Bromwich Albion have appointed former Newcastle, Hull and Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce as their new manager.

The 61-year-old left his role at St James' Park by mutual consent in October following the Saudi takeover, and after three months out of the game is now back at the Hawthorns to take over from Valerien Ismael, who was sacked earlier this week.

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Bruce has signed an 18-month contract with the Baggies, who are currently sixth in the Championship, just three points above the Hatters.

Ron Gourlay, Albion’s newly-appointed chief executive officer, told the club's official website: “Steve is a highly-respected and experienced manager who has an impressive record of earning promotion to the Premier League.

“His excellent man-management skills, tactical nous, and ability to hit the ground running were among the many reasons we decided he was the man to take us forward.

“Promotion remains our objective for this season, and we are confident that with Steve leading the club we have given ourselves every chance of achieving that goal.”

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Bruce himself added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to manage a club that has such great history and tradition.

"It is a club I obviously know well from my time in the Midlands, and I am already relishing the challenge of taking it forward.

“I did not envisage I would return to management this quickly, but once I got the phone call from Ron, I knew I could not resist the challenge of getting this club back to where they want to be.

“I am coming in with one aim and that is to get Albion to the Premier League.”

One of Bruce's first games will be at Kenilworth Road, as Luton host the Baggies on Saturday, February 19.