Sheffield Wednesday: Why Barry Bannan believes Steve Bruce will turnaround Aston Villa’s fortunes

Barry Bannan

Barry Bannan

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Midfield schemer Barry Bannan is backing Steve Bruce to be a big success at Aston Villa.

Bruce replaced Roberto di Matteo in the managerial hotseat in October and has led Villa, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, up to 15th.

It is Bruce’s 19th season in management and he boasts four promotions on his CV from the Championship to the top-flight.

His latest promotion came last May when he masterminded Hull City’s play-off victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley.

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Bannan believes his old club have under-achieved this term but he expects the experienced Bruce to turnaround their fortunes.

“I think they would have liked to have done a bit better but there’s been a lot of changes at Villa,” Bannan, who spent the best part of a decade at Villa Park, told The Star.

“It is a massive club and a great club as well. But they have got a bit of stability with Steve Bruce and he has proved his pedigree in this league before and I think given time, they will be a successful club again.

“He proved himself at Hull and I think he will be very good for Aston Villa.”

Villa will always be a club close to Bannan’s heart. He racked up 83 appearances for the club before moving to Crystal Palace in 2013.

Bannan admitted: “After they got relegated, the Villa games were the ones I was looking for.

“It came around really quick with the first game of the season and I was on the winning side, which was great.

“It (Villa Park) is one of the better stadiums in the league, if not the best and I am looking forward to going there and putting on a performance.”

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Depleted Villa entertain the Owls aiming to bounce back after their midweek loss at high-flying Huddersfield Town.

Bannan said he is looking forward to returning to Villa Park.

“They have won three games recently and will be confident,” said the Scotland international. “I know they lost at Huddersfield, but it is a tough place.

“I am looking forward to it; I don’t know what kind of reception I will get, to be honest. I actually don’t know. But I will be looking forward to it and trying to get the three points for Sheffield Wednesday.

“I think a lot of the fans who boo me on Saturday won’t realise that I actually support Aston Villa because I have been there since I was 13 to 23 probably. Hopefully they will take it easy on me.

“I owe a lot to Villa because they have got me where I am today but on Saturday I want to leave with a win.”

Bannan is calling on Owls to learn from their draw with relegation-threatened Burton Albion.

“The main thing is to try to be patient and at times, we forced it a little bit when most of our best chances were from being patient and moving it from side to side and getting down their sides,” he said.

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