Cardiff City boss Warnock wanted Aston Villa job in summer
Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock says he was "disappointed" that he did not get a call from Aston Villa over their managerial vacancy in the summer.
"They wanted bigger names I think, they took the lad [Di Matteo] and that is how it goes," Warnock said ahead of Cardiff's visit to Villa Park.
"I thought at the time that's their loss not mine."
The 67-year-old continued: ''There were about five clubs I spoke to. You have to look at that when you get to my age.
"I would not be here if one or two of those things had cropped up, but I am really pleased I am here. It is probably fate."
Warnock had discussions with a number of clubs in the summer, including Nottingham Forest, before joining Cardiff following the departure of Paul Trollope in October.
After sacking Di Matteo, who lasted just 12 games, Villa opted for former Hull manager Bruce just a week after Warnock had been installed at Cardiff.
Warnock thinks Bruce is the right man to bring success to Villa following their Premier League relegation as he is a similar manager to himself.
''With Steve and myself you get what you see. I was disappointed I did not get a chance with Villa in the summer if I'm honest, because I thought it would have been ideal to sort everything out," Warnock told BBC Wales.
"That is why I am not surprised at all Steve has gone in and done really well.
"I am not saying we are similar types, but we have the same philosophies regarding management.
''I think Steve is the right one now. He knows it's a massive club. He will be looking forward to it.
"We have had some right battles over the years. He knows he's in for a tough game on Saturday.''
Warnock believes Bruce, unbeaten at Villa, deserved a crack at the England job.
''Personally I thought he should have been England manager at the time," he said. "With his experience, playing wise, what he had done and his age and his enthusiasm, it was an ideal position for him in the summer.
''I know Gareth Southgate has done a good job, but I am surprised they have not spoken to Steve again.''