Former Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce lays down law at West Bromwich Albion after dismal campaign

Steve Bruce has told a number of his under-performing West Bromwich Albion players to move closer to the club’s training ground.
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The former Newcastle United head coach took over at the Championship club in February. At the time, the team was sixth in the table after a run of one win in seven games under Valerien Ismael.

West Brom are now 13th in the division, and unable to qualify for the play-offs, with two games left to play.

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And Bruce – who left his post at St James’s Park in October following a winless start to the season – is planning a summer squad “rebuild” at The Hawthorns.

The 61-year-old also wants his players to live – or have a second home – within an hour of the club’s training ground.

“I've told them all (they all have to be within an hour of the training ground),” Bruce said.

“Where we’re going to finish in the league isn’t good enough. I’ve put forward what I would like to do next year – that’s a rebuild of the squad. And the players that are here – along with the ones we bring in – have got to commit.

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“We have too many people travelling, and that cannot be good for you. That’s not good for you as a professional. I’ve pointed that out. And, going forward, that’s the way we’ll look at it. They have been positive towards that change. I think they understand my feelings on it.”

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce.West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce.
West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce.

Bruce’s family home is in Cheshire, as it was during his time at Newcastle.

And Bruce addressed his own commute following last weekend's goalless draw against Coventry City.

“(People) are going to throw it at me – and say ‘are you going to relocate?’,” said Bruce. “But it doesn’t work with us (managers). When we sign a contract, we usually get sacked.

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“For the players, it’s difficult. You can have an apartment around the area. But you have to be here the majority of the week.”

Bruce was reunited with former United striker Andy Carroll at West Brom. The 33-year-old has scored three goals for the club.