Steve Bruce: Aston Villa boss defiant after criticism from fans

Steve Bruce's Villa had miserable luck in front of goal in Tuesday's 0-0 home draw with Middlesbrough
Steve Bruce's Villa had miserable luck in front of goal in Tuesday's 0-0 home draw with Middlesbrough

Under-pressure Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has responded to social media-led criticism from supporters by defending his Championship record.

Villa are 18th in the table, with seven points from seven games.

And some fans are upset by the club's inconsistent start under Bruce, Villa's seventh boss in seven years.

"I've heard I'm a dinosaur. But I've been promoted twice in the five years," Bruce told BBC WM. "If I go, who are they going to get who's any better?"

Bruce, whose side travel to Oakwell to face Barnsley on Saturday, added: "Is that the fix? Off with my head, then someone else comes in and changes everything again?

"This team came in either last Christmas or this summer and people are judging them on six months. That's not long enough."

Bruce's promotion record

Bruce has won promotion from this level four times, twice at his previous club Hull City and twice with Villa's local rivals Birmingham City.

Despite his side being unbeaten in four matches, two successive goalless home draws have added pressure to Saturday's match.

"If it's the last-chance saloon, then so be it," said Bruce. "If that's what they want. But who's creating that? Social media and radio phone-ins.

"The vast majority of Villa fans here for the Middlesbrough game the other night, and there were 29,000 of them, were still right behind myself and the players.

"They can see that progress is being made after a difficult few years for the club.

"I've been in it long enough to know realistically what happens if you don't get results, but things are bubbling along under the surface. I totally believe we will be there and thereabouts."

Villa have the second biggest wage bill in the Championship, largely a legacy of Bruce's managerial predecessors, but they made a profit in the summer transfer window.

Having shown he will give any good young players a chance, he has been hit by the loss to injury of Jack Grealish and Andre Green.

Villa manager Steve Bruce was talking to BBC WM's Mark Regan

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