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Steve Bruce plays straight bat as he takes over at Sheffield Wednesday

Fielding questions: Bruce

STEVE BRUCE declared himself fighting fit when he was officially unveiled as Sheffield Wednesday’s new manager yesterday.

The 58-year-old, named on January 2, finally took up his role yesterday after a pre-arranged family holiday in the Caribbean which included watching England play cricket in Barbados.

Bruce, whose mother and father died last year, had been out of football since being sacked by Aston Villa in October — since when he has had two operations.

‘Physically I’m great, emotionally I’m great,’ said Bruce ahead of his first game in charge of the Owls at Ipswich tomorrow.

‘It’s been well documented about what happened over the last few weeks, few months for me, so I’m delighted to be the new Wednesday manager and I’ve started today.

‘There’s been a bit of a furore, but I spoke to the chairman and told him the issues I had and he was prepared to say “okay”. He wanted me to start straight away, but as I said, we couldn’t, but I’m glad to be here and delighted to get started.’

On the criticism for delaying his arrival at Hillsborough, Bruce said: ‘It doesn’t surprise me any more that people are ready to cast aspersions against you when they don’t know the facts.’