Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce has spoken of an historical connection with Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder.
The two meet in opposite dugouts on Monday (March 4) in the Steel City Derby at Hillsborough.
It will be Bruce’s first derby match in charge of the Owls, taking over at the club on February 1 following the sacking of Jos Luhukay.
The 58-year-old has seen it from the other side too, as he was in charge of the Blades during the 1998/99 season.
It was Bruce’s first managerial position and among his United squad was none other than Wilder.
“I had Chris as a player a long, long time ago,” the Wednesday chief told the Sheffield Star. “He has been outstanding in his work.
“They are genuine contenders. But I’m not really interested in how they are doing. It is about what we achieve.
“We know it is a tough game but it will be a tough game for them.”
Head to head record
Monday’s derby will not be the first time Bruce and Wilder have met as managers. The former was in charge of Aston Villa for three meetings against the Blades.
In 2017/18 – United’s first season back in the Championship after six years in League One – Bruce edged it, drawing 2-2 at Villa Park before winning 1-0 at Bramall Lane.
However, this term Wilder’s men triumphed 4-1 over Villa at home. A little over a month later Bruce was sacked.
Wilder became a manager three years after his upcoming opponent. Yet the 51-year-old spent eight years in non-league before leading Oxford United to promotion from the Conference National in 2009.
That is one of four promotions with five clubs during Wilder’s career so far. The only team he has not gotten promoted is Halifax Town.
Bruce is also a specialist in taking teams up, getting Birmingham City and Hull City twice promoted each to the Premier League.