Former Crystal Palace boss Steve Bruce vows to stop the rot after being appointed Aston Villa manager

Ross McLean
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Mansfield Town v Hull City - Pre-Season Friendly
Bruce has won promotion to the Premier League on four occasions (Source: Getty)

Newly-appointed Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has vowed to arrest the club’s decline and rekindle past glories after being confirmed as manager of the seven-time top-flight champions.

Bruce has replaced former Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo, whose 12-match reign at Villa Park was ended last week with the Midlands outfit 19th in the Championship having posted a solitary league win this term.

The 55-year-old former Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Wigan tactician is back in management after quitting Hull City in the summer, despite guiding the Tigers back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Bruce. “It is one of the big clubs in the 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.”

Villa’s 28-year stay in the top flight came to an abrupt end last season after a season of turmoil culminated in the club accruing a measly 17 points from their 38 matches.

Such turbulence is reflected by Bruce being the sixth Villa manager, whether it be full-time or caretaker, since ex-Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood was hired in February 2015.

Bruce, who fought off competition from Steve Clarke ­– Di Matteo’s assistant ­– for the job, will start his stint in charge with a derby against Wolves at Villa Park on Saturday.

A former Premier League title-winning centre-half with Manchester United, Bruce, who was interviewed for the England job in July, has won promotion to the top flight on four occasions, twice with Birmingham and twice with Hull.