Steve Bruce under-fire at stuttering starters Aston Villa

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 16 August 2017, 11:22

We are only three games into the new Championship campaign but already one beleaguered boss is getting pelted from all angles: Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce.

For the second successive season Villa started as one of the favourites for promotion to the Premier League, but in a case of deja vu, the struggling club could once again be on the cusp of wielding the dreaded metaphorical axe.

Last summer, following Villa’s relegation to the second-tier, Roberto Di Matteo came in and took charge of only a dozen games, winning just once, before he was hurled out of the Villa Park exit door in October - becoming the first Championship incumbent to lose his job.

Fast-forward to the current day and Di Matteo’s replacement, Bruce, is experiencing troubles of his own. Slow starting Villa have picked up only one point from their opening three games, leaving the Midland’s outfit 23rd in the table, and already eight points adrift of the early leaders.

After the weekend’s turgid 3-0 defeat to Cardiff Bruce said of the Villan’s owner Tony Xia:

“I don’t know if he’s a patient man, but I guess I’ll find out.”

Now, after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Reading, he could well be testing Xia’s patience already.

Bruce, who was booed down the dugout, has bizarrely blamed the euphoria surrounding John Terry’s arrival at the club for elevating expectations, yet he was the one that signed the former Chelsea star, while he knows full well that a return to the Premier League is the number one priority.

But, it’s important to remember that Bruce, who insists he’s the right man for the job, has more Premier league promotions (four) than any other manager, having twice led Birmingham and Hull up to the top-flight.

But, while it’s only early doors, his target of propelling this promotion tally to five with Villa could already be disappearing, with the club now out at 18/1 to win the league and 9/2 to get promoted.

Aston Villa Next 5 Fixtures

  • Norwich (h)
  • Wigan (h) - League Cup
  • Bristol City (a)
  • Brentford (h)
  • Middlesbrough (h)

(Championship unless stated)

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