Ex-Sunderland chairman's shock admission to Steve Bruce that will likely surprise supporters

Steve Bruce has revealed some interesting details from a conversation with former boss Ellis Short.

The former Sunderland and Newcastle United boss left St James’s Park earlier last season after the takeover to be replaced by Eddie Howe and is now in charge at West Brom.

Bruce was sacked at Sunderland back in 2011 having joined the Wearsiders from Wigan Athletic.

"Dave being Dave [Whelan, former Wigan Athletic owner], he encouraged me to take the next step after we had sold too many players to finish in the top 10 again," Bruce said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Steve Bruce of Sunderland watches from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on November 5, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

"I went with his blessing to speak to Niall Quinn at Sunderland. It was a big decision on a personal level because I was a Geordie and a Newcastle fan growing up, but I knew Niall was a proper football person, which is key. The relationship between CEO and manager has to be good or you don’t get that stability.

"We had two good years there: the only top 10 finish since Peter Reid, their highest finish in a decade in the top flight. I had a great strikeforce: Asamoah Gyan, Danny Welbeck, Darren Bent and Fraizer Campbell.

"Within six months, we didn’t have any of them - that spelt trouble. And it did - I got the sack! I bumped into Ellis Short, the owner at the time, a few years ago. The biggest compliment he could pay me was he said: “I shouldn’t have sacked you, it was the worst mistake I ever made as owner.”