Ex-Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce emerges as frontrunner to take charge of Championship club

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Steve Bruce is linked with a return to management - nearly four months after being sacked by Newcastle United.

Former Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has emerged as the frontrunner to take charge of West Bromwich Albion.

The Championship club parted company with Valerien Ismael after one win in seven left them fifth in the table, eight points off the automatic promotion spots.

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The Baggies confirmed that the process of recruiting a new boss is underway and an appointment will be announced in due course.

Steve Bruce favourite for West Brom job

Indeed, Bruce, who was sacked by the Magpies in October, is the bookmakers’ favourite (1/8) to take over at the Hawthorns.

The 61-year-old was in the dugout for the club’s first game under the new Saudi Arabia ownership, which ended in a 3-2 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

Chants of “we want Brucie out” were heard throughout the game and the new owners acted by relieving him of first-team duties a few days later.

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Bruce managed 97 games as Magpies head coach, achieving a win percentage of 28.9% as he led the club to a 13th and 12th placed finish during his two seasons in charge.

The former Manchester United defender has already managed Midlands clubs Birmingham City and Aston Villa.

What Steve Bruce previously said about his future in management

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph in October, Bruce admitted Newcastle could be his last management job in football.

He said: “I think this might be my last job. It’s not just about me; it’s taken its toll on my whole family because they are all Geordies and I can’t ignore that.

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“They have been worried about me… especially my wife Jan. What an amazing woman she is, incredible, she’s just a fantastic woman, wife and mother and grandmother.

“She dealt with the death of my parents, hers have not been very well. And then she had me to worry about and what I’ve been going through the last couple of years.

“I can’t take her for granted, she has spent her whole life following me around from football club to football club and if I was to say to her tomorrow, I’ve been offered a job in China, or anywhere, she would say, ‘Steve, is this right for you, do you want to do it?’ And she’d back me again.

“I’m 60 years old and I don’t know if I want to put her through it again.

“We’ve got a good life so, yeah, this will probably be me done as a manager - until I get a phone call from a chairman somewhere asking if I can give them a hand. Never say never, I’ve learnt that.”

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