Steve Bruce: Takeover has breathed new life into everyone at Aston Villa
Steve Bruce has credited Villa’s new owners with breathing new life into the club after their strong start to the Championship campaign continued.
Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 home win over Wigan means Villa have opened the season with back-to-back league victories for the first time since 1999.
Birkir Bjarnason’s stoppage time winner further built on the growing feel-good factor at a club which stood on the brink of administration less than a month ago.
The arrival of Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, who now own a 55 per cent stake, has drastically altered the outlook.
Boss Bruce said: “The new owners have breathed new life into everybody and taken away the doom and gloom. Supporters should have very exciting times ahead.
“It will take a bit of time. We can’t do it instantly with Financial Fair Play but I know they’re determined to make the club what it should be.
“It was a difficult summer for everyone and I’m not going to lie about that. To come out and get a decent start is great for the supporters.”
The financial support provided by Sawiris and Edens saw Villa hang on to star man Jack Grealish, while Bruce was also able to strengthen with the purchase of midfielder John McGinn from Hibernian.
McGinn, who cost Villa just £2.75million, enjoyed an impressive debut against the Latics.
“They (the owners) managed to back me and we’ve bought a very good player,” said Bruce. “That wouldn’t have been possible four weeks ago. In fact Jack (Grealish) wouldn’t have been here, Jonathan Kodjia wouldn’t have been here or James Chester.
“So now we can all breathe a big sigh of relief and get on with the main business, which is to play football.”
Bruce meanwhile called for referees to give Grealish more protection, after the playmaker came in for rough treatment from Wigan’s defenders.
“He draws a foul because he beats you and how good is that? We don’t see it very often so they have to protect him,” said Bruce.
“He reproduced the form he showed last year, which made him into a £30m footballer.
“He looked every penny a £30m footballer because to me he was head and shoulders above anybody else on the pitch.”