Bruce offered support to Oldham

Steve Bruce has revealed himself to be one of three Premier League managers who supported Oldham Athletic over their failed Ched Evans deal.

Convicted rapist Evans saw a move to Boundary Park collapse this week as the League One club bowed to public pressure, with a future in professional football looking increasingly unlikely for the Welsh striker.

Oldham chairman Simon Corney claimed to have received support from three top-flight managers before the move fell through, but opted not to name the trio.

However, Hull City boss Bruce confirmed at a news conference on Friday that he spoke Corney.

"I've known Simon for a lot of years now," he said. "He'd looked at the case too. He was of the opinion to give the kid a chance.

"I can only say on behalf of myself - I know I might be upsetting people - but there is a question of the rape and how he's been convicted by a jury.

"When you look at the evidence, it is there for appeal."

And Bruce has backed Evans to make a return to football.

He added: "I'm a big believer that if you have done your time everyone deserves a second chance, we have seen footballers involved with accidents and being given a second chance.

"It's a very difficult situation for everyone concerned. It's a pity they could not have the appeal and get it over and done with.

"It has divided opinion of course and when you look at the case in detail and, I don't think most people have really, because they have just seen Ched Evans as a convicted rapist, when you do look at the case and look at the evidence then certainly Ched has got a case.

"For me the appeal can't come quick enough for Ched.

"It must be a frustrating and difficult time for him and I think the events of the appeal, for me, will see Ched be allowed to play football again."