Aston Villa have confirmed the appointment of Steve Bruce as the club’s new manager.
The former Birmingham City and Hull boss replaces Roberto Di Matteo after the Italian was sacked by the club on October 3rd after just 122 days in charge.
Tony Xia, Villa’s owner, pointed to Bruce’s track record of winning promotion from the Championship – something he has done four times, with Birmingham City and Hull City twice each – as well as his experience of managing in the Premier League as key factors in the club’s decision.
Bruce is expected to bring in Keith Bertschin and Stephen Clemence, who worked alongside him at Hull, to be part of his backroom staff at Villa. His first task will be to lift morale among a group of players who have won only once this season – against Rotherham United on 13 August – and are 19th in the Championship with only 10 points from 11 matches.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Bruce said. “It is one of the big clubs of this country. To be given the opportunity to manage it is terrific. I relish the challenge of trying to take the club where it wants to go and needs to be – and try to turn around the misfortune we seem to have had over the past few years. I am absolutely delighted to have been given the chance. I hope I can do my stuff.”
Bruce spent the best part of six years in charge of Birmingham City in the noughties and will return to St Andrew’s in a little more than two weeks’ time, in what will be his fourth game in charge of Villa, when the two clubs meet in a second city derby that will now have an additional edge.