A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks and I for one am looking forward to getting back to club football. I know this may seem strange given our frankly terrible start to the campaign, but it’s hard not to feel optimistic when a new manager has joined the club.

Steve Bruce was not everyone’s ideal choice for the job. He was mine, purely for his track record in this division. He has taken mid-table teams to the promised land before and there is no reason why he can’t do that again at Aston Villa. In fact, if you look past the fact that he used to manage Birmingham City, it’s hard to not label him as the best candidate to turn our season around.

As we all know, Bruce will have his work cut out with some fans and so a positive start will do him the world of good for obvious reasons. He undoubtedly has good players at his disposal since we have some of the best in the Championship so the real job is getting them to play together and to change the mentality at this football club. The mentality of ‘a draw will do’ under Di Matteo was not good enough. We need to approach every game believing that anything less than three points is a disappointment and Bruce has to start demanding results from today.

I am being optimistic again, believing our early mistakes can be rectified. We are currently twentieth in the Championship. We are also ten points off the play-offs. It would be a stretch to say that we’re in the mix but, with a lot of games to go, there is reason for optimism. Whatever happens, I can quite confidently say that I believe results will improve under Bruce.

It will be interesting to see what his first team sheet looks like this evening. Personally, I would like to see players like Richards taken off the bench and replaced with youngsters showing promise. Hepburn-Murphy is staking his claim for a call up after being named the Premier League 2 player of the month.

Will there be a change of formation? Will we see a big name dropped? Will we keep conceding goals so late on in matches or look defensively sound? I’m looking forward to these questions being answered and a new era getting under way. We need Bruce to be a solid, stable presence at the club who can stop our downward spiral and get us excited about watching the Villa boys again. If he does that, any reservations about his past will be all but forgotten.


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