Steve Bruce calls on improving Aston Villa to finish the month in style

Steve Bruce has challenged Villa to lay down a marker this week and continue their climb up the Championship.

Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

Saturday’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest extended Villa’s unbeaten run in the league to six matches and saw them jump into the top ten, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Burton and Bolton’s visit to Villa Park this weekend.

Both opponents are in the bottom six and though Bruce expects neither to be an easy game, he acknowledges his team are now in a position to kick-on.

“In every game we played since I've been here, none of them are givens,” said the boss. “But we've given ourselves a nice platform. Let's hope we can go and have a really good week. Let's put a marker down before the international break, if we can."

Bruce has huge respect for Burton and their boss Nigel Clough, who he believed should have been named the division’s manager of the year last season.

“I voted for him, I thought he did an unbelievable job,” he said. “They have had some unbelievable results and it is always a difficult place, typical Championship.

“We have no divine right, we have to earn the right, and will have to earn the right on Tuesday."

Goals from Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane earned Villa victory over Forest and back-to-back wins in the league for the first time this season.

Bruce, under serious pressure earlier this month following a sluggish start to the campaign, left the pitch to the sound of supporters singing his name.

But while delighted with the turnaround, the manager admits he is still some way from winning over everyone.

“I'm under no illusions, if we lose the next two then they (the critics) will circle again,” he said. “That's the manner of things but I've been round the block a few times and I'm determined to get it right.

“When I mentioned the phrase mass hysteria, I meant on social media. The supporters have been nothing but fantastic towards me since I arrived here.

“The majority have been right behind me, and that's all I'm interested in.

“I understand that at Aston Villa, if you have a bad start you're under pressure straight away, so you have to come out fighting.

“Swing a few punches and make sure if you're going to go down, you go down with a fight.”

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