Bruce Return Is 'Nothing Personal'

Last updated : 22 November 2019 By Footy Mad - Editor

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith says he hopes his players don’t make Monday night’s match against Newcastle United personal, Birmingham Live reports.

It will be the first return of Steve Bruce to Villa Park since his sacking in October last year after surrendering a 3-1 lead to draw with Preston North End.

Smith took over from Bruce, who signed Championship play-off final heroes John McGinn and Anwar El Ghazi last summer, and led Villa back to the Premier League.

Now Bruce will take his Newcastle side to B6 hoping to get one over on his side and beat a potential relegation rival.

On the job Bruce has done:

"If you look at Newcastle at the start of the season there was a lot of questions about the whole football club and which direction it was going in and Steve has gone in and done what he does best. He’s got them organised, they’ve got pace and power up front and they’re winning games at the moment so they’re in a good run of form. It’s going to be a tough game for us.

"They’re a very good counter-attacking team, as West Ham found out a couple of weeks ago. They paid an awful lot of money for Joelinton and they’ve got two good wide players who love to get in behind you.

"It’ll be a test for us.

"We’ve played Steve before when he was manager at Sheffield Wednesday. I’ve got an awful lot of respect for Steve Bruce for what he’s done in management and also for how he is as a man as well.

"Every game we play at Villa Park in this league is big. I said at the start of the season our home form is going to be the most important part of this season and we’ve performed well at home so far. I thought we were unlucky against Liverpool in our last home game but our last performance wasn’t very good.

"Playing under the lights at ‘Villa Park is always a great evening."