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Steve Bruce was on a West Brom shortlist of one, says chief exec Ron Gourlay

Newly-appointed chief executive Ron Gourlay says Steve Bruce was the only candidate for Albion – with his experience making him the best man for the job, writes Ollie Westbury.

Bruce, who has won promotion to the Premier League four times, arrives at Albion with the promotion hopefuls in sixth position in the Championship.

Gourley was announced as Albion’s new CEO this week – with his first task to replace the sacked Valerien Ismael.

“When we made the decision to make a change there was no recruitment process, we knew straight away who we wanted,” Gourlay said when asked why he appointed Bruce.

“We needed experience.

“I felt there was one man who had the track record and the ability to take the club forward.

“There was no doubt in my mind he was the right man if he was in open to it.”

Albion won just one of their last seven matches under Ismael – with results and performances leading to anger in the stands. And Gourlay said it was clear change was needed if the Baggies still wanted to achieve promotion this season.

He said: “We have 17 games left. We have to start winning very soon. Steve has been in positions like this before and he has proven himself many times.

“I believe there is so much quality in the side but we need to hit the ground running, we have got to start winning.

“We have been underperforming there is no doubt.

“I did not need to convince Steve of the opportunity he was well aware of the scale of this football club.”

The former Reading and Chelsea CEO also spoke about the need to address the rift between the club’s hierarchy and its fan base.

“We have got to be in touch with our fanbase more because we have let that drift,” he said.

“I have been at The Hawthorns many times and the atmosphere is incredible.

“We need that on our side and we hope Steve can drive the results to get Albion fans back on our side.”

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