Why Steve Bruce looks a shrewd appointment for Sheffield Wednesday

Football's worst kept secret is out.

Steve Bruce is to return to management with Sheffield Wednesday. His arrival, which is set to be confirmed later today, marks the beginning of a new era at Hillsborough.

It is understood Owls lined up the former Manchester United centre-half before sacking Jos Luhukay on December 21. Bruce was Wednesday's No 1 choice and this looks a shrewd, excellent appointment.

Bruce is a safe pair of hands. The Owls represent the tenth managerial role in the 58-year-old's illustrious career. He is an experienced campaigner.

When Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri hired Carlos Carvalhal and Luhukay, there was an element of risk attached to both moves as neither Carvalhal nor Luhukay had previously managed in this country. It took Carvalhal and Luhukay time to adapt and get to grips with the nuances of English football.

Steve Bruce agrees deal to become Sheffield Wednesday manager

Steve Bruce is set to be appointed Sheffield Wednesday's new manager

Steve Bruce is set to be appointed Sheffield Wednesday's new manager

But Bruce, a high-profile appointment, is not a gamble. He knows the Championship inside out and understands what it takes to be successful at this level.

Bruce's CV includes four promotions from the second tier with Birmingham City and Hull City. He is a winner.

Renowned for being an honest, straight-talking man, Bruce is a popular figure in the football fraternity. With everything he has achieved both as a player and manager in his career, he will instantly command respect behind the scenes.

Not only is his pedigree impressive, Bruce is also well-connected in the sport. He will bring good contacts to S6 and help them attract a higher calibre of player. If anyone can pull a few strings to ensure the squad gets a much-needed makeover, it is Bruce.

It is key that Bruce has a big input into their transfer dealings. Although the final say on incomings and outgoings is still likely to rest with Chansiri, Bruce needs to be given the tools to do the job and be allowed to sign his own players. It will not work otherwise.

There is, of course, no guarantee Bruce will bring the good times back to S6. Everybody knows there is a big rebuilding job to be done at the club. A big clear-out is required and there is a whole host of players that are out of contract this summer. Bruce must be given the time and patience to reshape the team.

A promotion tilt looks a big ask this season. Wednesday are 11 points adrift of sixth-placed Derby County with 20 matches remaining.

But Bruce will inherit a squad in good spirits and full of confidence after a four-match unbeaten run under caretaker boss Lee Bullen.

I understand Chansiri, a fiercely ambitious person, has not given up hope of mounting a play-off push and will provide Bruce with funds in January to revamp the squad. Bruce will be expected to hit the ground running.