Date: 9th December 2005 at 5:56pm
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Steve Bruce has promised a return to the ‘difficult to beat and rather ugly’ style of football of previous seasons as he looks to pull Blues out of the relegation battle.

He told the official site:

‘Over the last 12 months we’ve changed, but maybe in hindsight it was too much too quickly.

‘By trying to be more attack minded we’ve left ourselves more vulnerable and it hasn’t worked.

‘With the position we find ourselves in we have to make sure we become what we were before, which was difficult to beat and rather ugly and go back to that approach until we get the confidence back in the team and start winning a few matches.

‘The only way I know how to do that is to get people who are prepared to have a scrap and a fight and be prepared to tackle people and get in their faces and do what we were excellent at for two or three years.’

He also added that our ‘big name’ players will be axed if they fail to perform:

‘I’m never going to name names or criticise but we have been fragile to say the least and ultimately that stops with me because I pick the team,’ he said.

‘A lot of our big players haven’t performed whether it’s because of injuries or lack of form.

‘I think I’ve got the players to do that but if I haven’t I’m going to make changes, even if that means bringing in the youngsters or some of the reserve players, then I’m prepared to do it.

‘We have taken one point from seven home games so fans have got every reason to be disappointed.

‘But all I can do is try and rectify that and I think they will appreciate the different approach.

‘I am convinced that they will enjoy it better and I hope that they will.’

With the money Bruce has spent on players, this ‘back to basics’ approach should probably be behind us. But that is academic – all that matters now is staying up.

Bruce has made promises previously this season that he has failed to keep – but again, all that matters now is that we stay up, however it is achieved.

Steve is right – the buck stops with him.

And what is needed from him and the team is simple – a victory tomorrow.