Bruce set to be unveiled as new Wigan manager
Steve Bruce will begin his quest to save Wigan from relegation when he is officially unveiled as the new Latics boss this afternoon.
Chairman Dave Whelan revealed on Sunday the club had agreed a £3million compensation package with Birmingham for the 46-year-old's services.
It will be Bruce's second spell at Wigan following a brief period at the end of the 2000-01 season and he inherits a team second bottom in the Barclays Premier League.
But former Wigan boss Chris Hutchings, who was sacked a fortnight ago after just 13 games in charge, believes Bruce will pick up a stronger squad than he left at Birmingham.
Hutchings told BBC Radio Five Live: 'It is difficult, a couple of years back he was at the club for six to eight games. So people at the club already know him, he's got a good track record of getting people up and this year is going to be a big test for him.
'But you have to kind of hang in there and he has got a good squad of players. When he looks at the Wigan squad and the Birmingham squad he'll maybe think the Wigan squad is slightly stronger.'
Under Hutchings the Latics briefly topped the table but have not claimed a league victory since August.
However, Paul Jewell's former assistant feels his exit was premature, especially in the light of injuries to the likes of Emile Heskey and Antoine Sibierski, the latter having scored in each of the opening three games before being sidelined with a hamstring injury.
'It is brutal,' he added. 'I don't feel as a manager I was given enough time and I look at (ex-Bolton boss) Sammy Lee and the same sort of thing happened to him.
'So you hope the chairmen are brave enough to stand by people when the team are struggling and in my case we had two players injured for periods of time that affected the problem.'