Steve Bruce already linked with swift return to management after leaving Newcastle
On Wednesday morning the long drawn-out process of Steve Bruce’s Newcastle exit was finally completed with the man himself stating that he could now be done with management.
But come the evening his name was being chanted - positively - at the home of another former employer.
After over two years of frequently hearing his name bellowed in venom on Tyneside, a few hours down the road in Kingston upon Hull Tigers fans could be heard calling for their former boss to return to his old stomping ground. Twitter was also jam-packed with appreciative messages from numerous Hull City supporters who crave a return to the glory days of Mr Bruce.
Wishful thinking or is there a glimmer of hope? Let's take a look...
What did Bruce achieve at Hull City?
Bruce is fondly remembered at the MKM Stadium.
Over the course of a four-year tenure he won two Championship promotions, sandwiched either side a stint in the Premier League and a memorable journey through to the FA Cup Final, and qualification into the Europa League.
Bruce then reluctantly left Hull in 2016 after winning a second promotion - citing a frustration over a lack of transfer activity - and has since gone on to manage Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday, and the Toon.
The successful days of his Hull tenure seem very fair away for supporters right now with the struggling club since falling down to League One, while they are currently 22nd in the Championship with nine points from a possible 39.
What’s going on with incumbent Grant McCann?
Appointed in June 2019, McCann enjoyed a bright start to life in Hull, who he had challenging for the Championship play-offs, only for the club to then suffer an atrocious dip in form and instead suffer relegation.
Hull kept the faith in McCann and they were rewarded with a League One title last season.
However, life in the Championship has once again been difficult, with the 41-year-old feeling the heat after Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Peterborough who Hull have now replaced in the drop zone.
The cold, hard facts are that McCann has now only managed to register three wins in his last 33 Championship matches dating back to January 2020, 24 of which have ended in defeat.
Does Bruce want to return to management?
Bruce’s stock remains high at Hull but the fact of the matter is they still have a manager.
Furthermore, it’s unlikely we’re going to see Bruce - who deserves a big breather - back in the dugout anytime soon given the comments he made in The Telegraph on Wednesday. The last two years have unsurprisingly taken their toll on the 60-year-old who has had to put up with a hell of a lot.
"I'm 60 years old and I don't know if I want to put her [his wife] through it again,” Bruce told Luke Edwards.
“We've got a good life so, yeah, this will probably be me done as a manager - until I get a phone call from a chairman somewhere asking if I can give them a hand. Never say never, I've learnt that."
Never say never. The itch to get back in management can be strong. Just ask 70-year-old Claudio Ranieri, who earlier this month was appointed Watford manager; his 22nd spell in the dugout.
If McCann is dismissed sometime in the future and Bruce receives a call, perhaps he might be tempted to return to somewhere he’s respected and appreciated, for one last hurrah.