By Will Butcher

Former Aston Villa defender Paul McGrath has declared himself “delighted” at the appointment of Steve Bruce.

Bruce, 55, signed a two-year deal on Wednesday after owner Tony Xia decided to sack Italian manager Roberto Di Matteo following the Midlands giants’ dismal run that saw them win once in 12 league and cup encounters.

McGrath, who played for Villa between 1989 and 1996, revealed on his personal Twitter account that Villa are a “big club” and hopes Bruce can get his side out of “the mess we are in.”

Bruce is set to be thrown in at the deep end as Villa manager, as the Midlands giants face their local rivals Wolves in the Championship’s Saturday tea-time kick off.

Villa fans will be hoping that Bruce can continue his reputation as a promotion expert from England’s second tier.

The former Manchester United defender has reached the promise land of the Premier League twice with Birmingham City, and more recently with Hull City on another two occasions.

Xia decided to axe former Chelsea and Schalke manager Di Matteo, after the young manager spent £60million on the likes of Ross McCoramck, Jonathan Kodjia and James Chester, but was unable to secure a better position than 19th place in the Championship.

A win on Saturday for Villa could see Bruce and co. move up to 14th place, if results go their way.

In other Aston Villa news, Bruce is set to bring in his first signing as boss from old club Hull City.