Is it time Bruce was recognised as a top manager after securing his third promotion to the top flight?
On Saturday Hull City ensured their return to the Premier League next season after a 2-2 draw with Cardiff was enough to send them up in second place.
The man at the helm of the club in this success is Steve Bruce, a former Manchester United captain and well known managerial figure in English football.
Yet Bruce has found it hard to be recognised as a boss who is truly worthy of the top flight, after he took his first job as a manager at Sheffield United way back in 1998.
Turbulent spells at Bramall Lane and the Huddersfield Town did not bode well for the start of the 52-year-old’s career off the pitch.
As a player Bruce had defied his critics though, bouncing back from rejection as a youngster from his boyhood club Newcastle United to become a Premier League winner under Sir Alex Ferguson.
This rocky rise to success, which also included being continuously snubbed by the England national team, put Bruce in good stead to get over a less than impressive start as a manager.
Following short and somewhat controversial spells with Wigan and Crystal Palace, it was with Birmingham City that the former defender made his name.
In his first season at the club Bruce guided the Blues to promotion to the Premier League, attracted World Cup winner Christophe Dugarry to the Midlands and then bravely tried to keep them up.
Birmingham were relegated that year but the manager showed his mettle by bringing them straight back up again the following season.
Bruce returned to Wigan, keeping them in the top flight, and then on to Sunderland where impressive finishes of 10th and 13th are overshadowed by his sacking in 2011.
Whilst with the Latics the former Red Devil was publicly humiliated by ex-team-mate Roy Keane – who was then manager at Ipswich – when the Irishman was asked why players from the Ferguson era went on to be good managers.
“Who are the good managers you are talking about?” Keane was quoted in the Telegraph.
“Steve Bruce has had a good season, but he’s been manager how many years?”
Never to be deterred the man from the north east took some time out of football after Sunderland, before taking over at Hull and proving his credentials by getting out of the ultra-competitive Championship for the third time in his career.
Keane has been out of management for over two years now, whereas Bruce just continues to prove those who criticise him wrong.