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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

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By ESPN Staff
Nov 7, 2006

Bruce considered Birmingham exit after relegation

Birmingham manager Steve Bruce admitted he contemplated quitting the midlands club in the summer after their relegation from the Premiership.

Bruce spent time with his family weighing up whether to end his four and a half year association with Blues but ultimately opted to rebuild a new team with the aim of regaining top flight status.

Birmingham are challenging strongly at the top end of the Championship but will take a break from league action for Wednesday's Carling Cup tie with Liverpool at St Andrews.

It will give them the opportunity to try to avenge last season's humiliating 7-0 reversal by the Reds in the FA Cup on the same ground.

Bruce said: 'Did I think of walking away after the Liverpool game? I don't think as a manager you can take a reaction from just an individual performance.

'The closest I came to walking away, if that is how you want to put it, was the summer.

'I reflected then on what had gone wrong, what I could have done differently, the challenges that were ahead and what I wanted to do myself.

'That was the big time. I have never thought after a defeat, 'I am packing it in.' That's not in my nature at all.

'I've never contemplated that. The big time was the summer when I went away with my family.

'But even then I didn't really want to walk away after being relegated. I wanted to try to get a new team and get us back to where we were four or five years ago and start all over again.'

Bruce has been lifted by the return to action of Matthew Upson who came through 60 minutes of a reserve team game on Monday - his first action for nine months.

The England defender has been sidelined with pelvic and Achilles tendon problems since February but suffered no reaction to his comeback appearance against Notts Forest.

Bruce said: 'It will be a big boost to everyone to have Matty back and he will have another reserve outing next week and possibly a game behind closed doors as well.'