STEVE BRUCE tomorrow faces Huddersfield Town for the first time since being sacked by the club more than 12 years ago.
And the 51-year-old who has come closer than any other Town manager to reclaiming the top-flight place lost in 1972 aims to maintain his push for a third promotion to the Premier League.
The Geordie who won a host of trophies with Manchester United had two promotion triumphs during his time as Birmingham boss (in 2002 and 2007).
Hull, the seventh club he has managed (the others being Sheffield United, Wigan, Crystal Palace and Sunderland), go into tomorrow’s clash in fourth place.
And after last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Watford, Hull’s on-loan Manchester United wing-back Robbie Brady declared: “We fancy ourselves in every game.
“Everything is spot-on under the manager. Everyone knows how well he has done. He was an unbelievable player and he has carried that on through management.”
Bruce was this week promised January transfer window funds by Hull chairman Ehab Allam, who said: “We have every confidence in Steve. He’s proved himself as a top-quality manager and we’ll be supporting him the way he sees fit.”
Bruce, whose Hull signings include midfielder Stephen Quinn, who impressed for Sheffield United against Town in May’s League I play-off final at Wembley, said he thought carefully before becoming Hull manager in the summer.
Sacked by Sunderland in November 2011, he admitted: “I wondered if I still had the enthusiasm for the job.”
Bruce was appointed Town boss by then owner Barry Rubery in May 1999 after the controversial sacking of Peter Jackson.
Despite the sale of star striker Marcus Stewart to divisional rivals Ipswich in the January, Town finished eighth in Division I (now Championship).
After a poor start to the next season, Bruce was sacked in October