Steve Bruce has made a real impact since replacing Roberto Di Matteo as Aston Villa manager, taking the club up to ninth in the table.
His predecessor had managed only one win in 11 Championship matches before he was dismissed just ahead of October’s international break. Bruce’s appointment has certainly brought optimism to Villa Park — something the club hasn’t had for a number of years.
Regardless of his history with rivals Birmingham City, the current manager has a good start at Villa Park and won four of his first seven league games in charge, drawing the other three. Bruce only suffered his first setback as Aston Villa boss against Leeds United.
A home game versus struggling Wigan Athletic provided them with the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways, and Villa delivered. Steve Bruce’s men moved closer to the playoff places with a narrow 1-0 win. With 22 league games still to go, there’s certainly no reason why Steve Bruce can’t drag this team into the top six and take them back into the Premier League at first attempt.
Trips to out-of-form Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers were supposed to be easy wins for the Villans, but they crashed to a defeat against Norwich. Since then, Aston Villa have been quite impressive and are unbeaten in their last three matches. The Villans will now look forward to the FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. If that goes the way most people expect it, early elimination from the cup would allow the manager to fully concentrate on the league and promotion.
After travelling to London for the cup tie, Aston Villa are up against rivals Wolves in the Championship the following weekend — a game that many a Villa fan will want to travel to and hope to come back with the needed three points.
Tickets won’t be easy to come by for the away supporters, but for a reliable source of tickets, check wowtickets.football. Prices could be a little more than Aston Villa fans are used to paying for home games given the importance of the fixture, but travelling fans won’t care so much if their team comes away with a win.
Aston Villa were held 1-1 at home by Wolves in Steve Bruce’s first game in charge during mid-October. Bruce has also recorded the same result versus West Midlands rivals, Birmingham City, at the end of October. The two don’t clash again until late April at Villa Park — a game the home supporters would love to win. Perhaps by then, it could play a big role in Aston Villa’s hopes of returning to the Premier League for next season.
The former champions of Europe finish their season at home to Brighton and Hove Albion, who currently sit at the top of the table, some 16 points ahead of Aston Villa. When Roberto Di Matteo was in charge at the start of the season, Aston Villa were actually capable of taking one point away from the home fixture against Newcastle when the two former-Premier League regulars met in September.
The final weekend of February will see Aston Villa play host to Derby County, a club in a very similar situation. A woeful start to the season before a change in manager has also seen a change in fortunes. Steve McClaren‘s Rams are currently above Villa in the table following a five-game winning streak.
Steve Bruce has plenty of talent at his disposal with the likes of Micah Richards, Jordan Ayew, Rudy Gestede, Mile Jedinak, Albert Adomah, and Ross McCormack all in his squad. There’s every reason for supporters to believe that they will bounce back to the Premier League, despite their dreadful start with both the players and ex-manager, and with the January transfer window fast approaching to further strengthen the club.