“I’m a big fan” – Carlton Palmer reacts as Gillingham eye move for ex-Newcastle United boss

Steve Bruce has emerged on Gillingham’s radar as they search for a replacement for Neil Harris.
Pundit Carlton Palmer believes former Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce would be an excellent appointment for Gillingham.


The Gills are on the hunt for a new manager following the shock sacking of Neil Harris earlier this month, with the 46-year-old dismissed despite the club sitting eighth in the League Two table.

According to The Sun, via FLW, Bruce is under consideration for the vacant managerial position at Priestfield, but there is opposition among some members of the board about allowing him to bring in his own coaching staff.

Bruce has been out of work since being sacked by West Brom last October with the club in the Championship relegation zone, but he has recently hinted that he is keen to return to football.

The 62-year-old began his playing career at Gillingham, going on to make 237 appearances for the club before joining Norwich City in 1984, and he was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2009.

Bruce is not the only candidate for the role, and journalist Alan Nixon claims that Stephen Clemence, who has been a long-time member of Bruce’s coaching staff, has held talks with the club.

Keith Millen is currently in caretaker charge of the Gills, but the 4-1 defeat at Walsall on Saturday, in which Millen was sent off for tripping Saddlers winger Tom Knowles, could potentially speed up the search for Harris’ successor.

“I think if Gillingham could pull this off, it would be a great appointment.

“I’m a big fan of Steve Bruce as a man and a manager.

“All managers come unstuck with certain appointments, but his record overall as a manager is very good.

“Steve Bruce and his coaching staff will not be cheap in League Two, so promotion would be the minimum target.”

Would Steve Bruce be a good appointment for Gillingham?

Bruce would certainly be a high-profile appointment for Gillingham.

Having spent much of his career in the Premier League and the Championship, it would be a huge coup for the Gills to convince Bruce to drop down to League Two.

It did not work out for Bruce in his last role at West Brom, but he has an excellent track record in management, and he should be more than capable of leading Gillingham to promotion.

However, there would be doubts over whether Bruce will have the knowledge of League Two, and after his damaging spell at Newcastle, it could be questioned whether he is past his best as a manager.

Bruce would be a statement appointment for the Gills, but it would not be without risks, and owner Brad Galinson must ensure he makes the right choice after his controversial decision to part company with Harris.

What did Carlton Palmer say?

Speaking exclusively to Football League World, Palmer revealed that he believes Bruce would be a great appointment for Gillingham, and he says that promotion would be the target should Bruce make the move to Priestfield.

“Steve Bruce is the bookies’ favourite to be the new manager of Gillingham Football Club,” Palmer said.

“There is doubt in some quarters about whether he would be a good appointment for the League Two club, apparently the board are split on the decision.

“Steve Bruce is a Hall of Fame footballer at Gillingham, so I think it would be an appointment that would go down well with the fans.


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