Rovers hold cold comfort for Bruce

By NEIL MOXLEY

Last updated at 21:32 05 October 2007


Steve Bruce is not expecting a warm welcome at Blackburn tomorrow, even if Robbie Savage has made up with his former manager.

Former Manchester United

team-mates Bruce and Blackburn

boss Mark Hughes have

had a strained relationship

since Rovers signed Savage

from Birmingham.

Mark Hughes Man Utd

Matters have not been helped

by Mark Bowen's defection

from St Andrew's to become

assistant manager at Rovers

— Bruce and Bowen no longer

speak.

Birmingham's boss said: "I

don't think I'll be invited in for

a drink, do you? I'll shake

hands with Mark (Hughes), no

problem, and wish him all the

best, but it's not just Sav

there's a problem with, is it?"

It might have taken him more

than two years to say it, but at

least Savage has finally apologised

over the manner of his

exit. The former Wales midfielder ended a sorry

episode after he apologised to

his former manager during the

Birmingham's Carling Cup

defeat at Blackburn Rovers 10

days ago.

Two years ago, Savage

blamed Bruce and the club for

forcing him out after they failed

to offer him a new contract.

When that did not work, he

concocted a story about the

length of time it took for him to

travel home, claiming Blackburn

was closer to his parents'

home in north Wales.

It was exposed as a sham

when the difference was shown

to be two miles. Birmingham

chairman David Sullivan even

offered the midfielder the use

of a chauffeur.

So when that failed, the blond

scrapper resorted to breaking

down in tears in Bruce's office

saying he wanted to play for his

Wales and Manchester United

hero Hughes.

At that point,

Bruce decided to allow the

£2.3million move to go ahead. Last night, Bruce confirmed

that the episode was over.

"Robbie shook my hand and

apologised," he said. "He was

disappointed about the way it

ended. And he was man

enough to say he wished it

hadn't finished like it had.

"We lost a very good player. He

was a hero to our supporters

and we shared some good

times together. He was

absolutely adored by our fans

and I don't care what you say,

he wasn't going to get that at

Blackburn.

"Do I think it was the wrong

move? That's not for me to say.

But when I heard he broke his

leg last season, I did feel for

him. I don't know whether he

has matured. You will have to

ask Sav, that, but injuries like

that put things into perspective

for you. And like they say,

time is a great healer."

Bruce remains in limbo over

his contract talks but is hoping

the matter is resolved shortly.

His new deal needs to be confirmed

by in-coming owner

Carson Yeung and Bruce said: "It's been presented to the

Chinese and the prospective

owner has told me that he

wants me to stay in charge.

He's bound to say that, isn't

he? It may be only natural if he

wants his own people in.

"I'm just a bit disappointed

because I was offered the deal

in May. I went away on holiday

and by the time I came back,

everything had changed."

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