Bruce: It's been a struggle
By Paul Firth
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve Bruce has voiced his frustration at his side's disappointing season.Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce has voiced his frustration at his side's inability to reproduce their top ten finish of last season.
Blues have suffered a poor season which was highlighted in their recent capitulation at Manchester City in midweek.
"There were expectations about us at the start of the season when we finished tenth," said Bruce.
"But that hasn't happened for whatever reason."
Bruce's job at St Andrews has not been made any easier by injuries and the sale of key players midway through the campaign.
"I looked at the team we put out against Manchester City on Wednesday night and compared it to the midfield I envisaged at the start of the season," he added.
"I envisaged playing Jesper Gronkjaer, Muzzy Izzet, Robbie Savage and David Dunn.
"There were none of them in there against City and that tells you where we are at.
"The lads that have come in have done a steady job but the expectation we created here demands that we do a bit better.
"I've never been one to make excuses about injuries but I know that if we had stayed injury free with the likes of Forssell, Dunn, Izzet and Lazaridis then we would have been eight or 10 points better off than we are now."
One of the biggest blows for Bruce was the loss of last year's top scorer Mikael Forssell to injury so early in the season.
"I have to say it's been a huge struggle from the moment we lost Forssell in August and then Gronkjaer didn't settle in the way we thought," claimed Bruce.
Bruce is now hoping that with the addition of new signings in the summer and the return of his injured stars that Blues will be a stronger outfit come the start of next season.
"If we can get Izzet and Dunn back and add two to four more players this summer we'll be stronger again."