Steve Bruce targets promotion with Aston Villa despite poor start to the season

The former Hull City boss replaced Roberto Di Matteo on Wednesday afternoon

Steve Bruce

Image: Nick Potts PA Wire/Press Association Images

New Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce says that promotion isn't out of the question, despite his side having only picked up one win from their opening 12 games in the Championship.

Bruce takes over at the club having been appointed on Wednesday evening and replaces Roberto Di Matteo in the hot-seat at Villa Park. 

The 55-year-old appeared before the media for his first press conference yesterday and addressed questions on arresting his side's poor form, his previous career as manager of fierce rivals of Birmingham City and his decision to take the job in the first place.

"When you look at the squad we are capable of mounting a challenge and that can be this year too," he said. "We’re capable of being a very good team.

"I realise we have to turn this around and I’m quietly confident with the group of players I’ve seen on paper.

"When you look at the squad we are capable of mounting a challenge and that can be this year too. We’re capable of being a very good team.

"They’ve been a little bit unfortunate but certainly the qualities are there and it’s my job to go and get the best out of them."

Brucie Baby: The former Hull City manager is just the man to arrest Aston Villa's poor form and spearhead a promotion challenge. Image: Nick Potts PA Wire/Press Association Images

Bruce, of course, has a history of succeeding in the Championship. On four occasions has he been able to lead a side to promotion to the Premier League which, and with the introduction of the new TV rights deal, this feat will see teams incur an even bigger monetary windfall.

"When I went to Birmingham we were 15th at Christmas and went on a run that got us promoted... I hope I can bring that success here, now, that’s what this club needs. We need to get back in the big league and the challenge of that alone was the resounding factor of why I came here."

Bruce admitted the size of the club made the decision to take the job more daunting and he is well aware of the task that lies ahead.

"I have to be really careful but I do believe I have one of the biggest clubs in the country.

"It’s a privilege to manage, it’s arguably the biggest club I have managed and the biggest challenge of all. The expectation is always going to be there."

He discussed his ties to with Birmingham City and why he took the job with Villa by saying: "I've lived in the area or 15 years. I've enjoyed the area so much that I've made it my home. Of course when the opportunity came to come and manage a club of this size and stature, at the end of the day I'm an out of work football manager.

"It's one of the big clubs of our country. It's got great history and tradition, fabulous facilities and a wonderful stadium. They've also got a huge, huge performance that would attract any manager."