Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur v Aston Villa

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di­vi­sion is, but I’m con­fi­dent we will turn this club around.”

It is not an idle boast. No man­ager has won pro­mo­tion to the Premier League more than Bruce. He took Birm­ing­ham City up twice and re­peated the feat with Hull. The men­tion of the lat­ter, though, brings raw emo­tions to the sur­face. Bruce’s soft Ge­ordie ac­cent quiv­ers.

“It was a huge de­ci­sion to take, leav­ing Hull. It was ex­tremely dif­fi­cult.

“I had four fan­tas­tic years at the club and the peo­ple there... the fans, they were bril­liant with me. How­ever, I had to do it. I wanted to be in the Premier League, but some­thing wasn’t right. I’d got the club back there, which isn’t an easy thing to do, but I was frus­trated.

“It was a huge wrench to leave. We’d worked so hard to get back into

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