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Bruce outlines plans to get Villa promoted – by making them play like Birmingham!

Date Posted,August 4, 2017

Steve Bruce admits he wants to make Aston Villa more ­resilient like his old Birmingham team.

Bruce is preparing for his first full ­campaign in charge at Villa after bringing in John Terry as skipper.

Bruce’s arrival last year did not meet ­universal approval from fans after his past as a Birmingham player and boss.

He led Blues to two promotions as they enjoyed their first taste of the Premier League in his reign from 2001-2007.

His City side had a mix of grit and flair with the likes of ­ Robbie Savage and Christophe Dugarry. Bruce now wants more guts from his Villa side, especially on the road after only winning four away games last term.

Ahead of Saturday’s curtain-raiser at home to another of his former clubs, Hull City, he said: “Any team of mine , you have got to play with your boots on a bit.

John Terry has been brought in to boost Villa’s promotion hopes (Image: Rex Features)

“This club demands that. This city demands that. Down the road at Birmingham the crowd enjoyed watching us play. Here, we’ve got to make sure that we don’t get bullied away from home, as we did too many times.

“Away from home we have won five times in two years. We have to address that. We’d go away and not put our boots on.

“I can’t bear it, and it did send me into a downward spiral. It happened too many times. We had to address that. We had to be better mentally, and if we are still as fragile as we were away from home last year then we will struggle again.

Bruce is determined to keep smiling throughout the new season (Image: Birmingham Mail)
Scott Hogan is looking to get off to a scoring start against Hull (Image: Neville Williams)

“That’s why I’ve brought in what I’ve brought in. I’ve brought in a bit of toughness and a bit of steel because too easy last year we were getting turned over.”

Bruce walked away from Hull in July 2016 after guiding them back up.

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He planned a year out but says he couldn’t turn down Villa when they sacked Roberto Di Matteo last October.

Bruce added: “I hope I can replicate what I did in Hull in four years. If I do that here I’ll be carried out in the streets.

“We got to an FA Cup final, two promotions and they’ve still got a sprinkling of players left from my time there who will make sure it’s going to be a difficult game that’s for certain.”

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