Bruce lays into critics
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve Bruce has spoken out against his critics following Birmingham's win at Derby.
Steve Bruce has spoken out against his critics following Birmingham's 1-0 victory at Derby, claiming it is 'ridiculous' that there has been calls for his head.
Stephen Clemence's goal ended a run of five games without a win and in the process eased the pressure on Bruce in the St Andrews hot-seat.
Victory moved Birmingham up to eighth in the Championship table and just a point off third, with Bruce confident his side are beginning to turn the corner.
"We are now only one point off third place but apparently there is a crisis and I am going to lose my job - it is ridiculous," said Bruce.
"It is incredible what football is turning into.
"We have come straight out of the Premiership but do people think that gives us a divine right to go to places like Derby and claim three points? There are no divine rights.
"I know we will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season but whether we can go straight back up remains to be seen.
"Bouncing straight back into the Premiership is very hard and only a few teams have ever achieved it.
"But what drives this division is promotion to the Premiership because of the money when you get there - and that is the evil of it.
"What has been said and written this week has upset me but I have stuck my chin out and stuck my chest out.
"Now I just want to be allowed to get on with my job."
While Bruce was delighted to collect maximum spoils at Pride Park, his joy was tempered by the confirmation that midfielder David Dunn has suffered a hamstring injury.
Bruce added: "David has done his hamstring again, the one he has had previous problems with.
"It is a severe blow for us because it looked, for the first time in two-and-a-half years, like he was going to be fit."
While Bruce will be a relieved man his Derby counterpart Billy Davies was left to rue a game in which his side created more than their fair share of chances.
The Scottish tactician feels Derby were unfortunate to go down to a defeat but after the game, he showed managerial camaraderie by defending Bruce.
"We hit the post and their keeper made some important saves so to lose a late goal like that was a massive blow," said Davies.
"The shot has been deflected, hit the post and then come off the back of the goalkeeper's head before going in.
"But we looked leggy at times after three games in six days and with the squad down to the bare bones, we just were not able to do what Birmingham did which was to make six changes.
"I am disappointed we have lost but I am pleased for Steve Bruce because it is no more than he deserves. He is a first-class manager, so good on him."