Steve Bruce: 'Football will pay its respects'

Steve Bruce pre-Blues

Steve Bruce is certain “football will pay its respects” to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family when Albion host Birmingham City on Wednesday night (ko 8pm).

A minute’s silence, followed by the National Anthem, will precede kick-off and both sides will wear black armbands as the club joins worldwide tributes to The Queen, who passed away at the age of 96 on Thursday. 

Wednesday clash will be the first game either team has played since The Queen’s passing, with all EFL fixtures postponed over Saturday and Sunday as a mark of respect.

And the Baggies boss Bruce believes it is only right that the football community comes together at this desperately sad time.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Steve said: “Football will pay its respects. I’m sure of that.

“Football fans are a huge part of the community out there which is saddened by the events of the last few days.

“From everybody here, we send our condolences to the Royal Family.

“I had the pleasure of meeting The Queen, albeit very, very briefly. The photograph, still to this day, hangs in our house, pride of place. 

“My mother was from Northern Ireland and she adored The Queen. I’ve never seen my wife cry so much than what she has done over the last few days, with all the images and the tributes on the television.

“Football will pay its respects and rightly so.

“I’ve also met His Majesty King Charles, but again it was only a very brief meeting through football.

“I think it was the 1995 FA Cup final. It was one of those moments where you make sure you get the photo so you can look back at it in years to come.”

The Battle with the Blues will come 12 days after the club’s most recent match – a 1-1 draw with Burnley at The Hawthorns. 

And Bruce says although everything was prepared and ready for the trip to Coventry City last Saturday, the break has given his side the chance to have a much-needed breather. 

The boss continued: “Everything was prepared for the weekend and our game against Coventry.

“The cancelation of the Coventry game has given us a chance to reflect and have a little bit of a break, a break we probably all needed to be honest with you after what was a really busy start to the season.

“I believe we are close, but I’m also under no illusion that we have to turn these draws into wins.

“In terms of the performances I couldn’t be more pleased. How could I not be with the way that we played against Burnley, Hull and Watford for example.

“We haven’t won enough though. We need to get into a winning mindset. We need to stop giving away really silly goals which is hindering us at the moment. 

“We’re after that balance of trying to create and score more goals, while also defending better and trying to stop the silly mistakes which have been leading to goals.

“I do believe we are better on the eye now and better to watch.

“If we can get back-to-back victories before the international break, that would be great for us. We know how crucial those back-to-back victories can be in this league.

“We’ve got to play at the same tempo in the games against Birmingham and Norwich as we have done in some of our better displays this season.”

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