Despite being marooned in mid-table having spent more than any other Championship club, Steve Bruce insists that he can get promotion next season.
A disastrous run of eight defeats and two draws in a run of 10 games saw Aston Villa in relegation trouble but a run of five wins in seven games after defeat at St James Park in February, has saved the club from successive relegations and kept the pompous oaf in a job.
Never one to pass up the chance to look for excuses, Steve Bruce says that it is so much harder for him because ‘Aston Villa are the big scalp in this division’.
I don’t know about the biggest scalp but they have certainly been one of the easiest scalps this season.
Bruce says ‘Everyone want to turn us over…all the teams that come to Villa Park want to perform on the big stage and in the big arena’.
Funnily enough, I can’t remember Rafa Benitez making it a big issue and with Newcastle playing to crowds almost twice the size of Villa this season, I think we all know which game away fans and players target for putting on their biggest performance of the season.
“I am always confident that I can put a team together that can get out of this division.
“I have done it before and it would be terrific to do it here.
“It’s never going to be easy because of who we are.
“Aston Villa are the big scalp in this division. Everyone wants to turn us over.
“All the teams that come to Villa Park want to perform on the big stage and in the big arena.
“So all the bits and pieces make it difficult but I am quietly confident that we will be able to mount a challenge and hopefully we will be good enough.
“The one thing we need at a club like ours is to play in the big league. We will try our best.
“Whoever is sitting in the chair here at Aston Villa, we’ve got to mount a challenge.
“I’m under no illusion that we have to mount a challenge. That’s the way it is.”