By Will Butcher
Steve Bruce has declared that the Aston Villa job was too good to turn down, describing it as a “wonderful opportunity.”
The former Hull City, Birmingham City and Sunderland manager has signed a two-year deal at Villa Park, replacing Italian Roberto Di Matteo following a dismal run that saw Villa win just once in 12 league and cup encounters.
Bruce, who has been promoted from the Championship four times during his managerial career, was quoted by Villa’s official Twitter account as saying that the club are one of “the big clubs of this country.”
Bruce is set to take charge ahead of Saturday’s tea-time clash against Midlands rivals Wolves, as he aims to take Villa from a lowly 19th position to a pre-season prediction of the play-offs.
Owner Tony Xia has acted quickly to replace former Chelsea and Schalke manager Di Matteo, after axing the manager prior to the international break.
Bruce brings with him a wealth of managerial experience, after first taking over the reigns of a club back in 1998 with Sheffield United.
Short spells with Huddersfield, Wigan and Crystal Palace followed, before Bruce found his home with Villa’s rivals Birmingham, where he stayed for six years and enjoyed two promotions.
A return to Wigan, a spell at Sunderland and two further promotions followed with Hull before rumours circulated this summer that Bruce was in line to replace Roy Hodgson as England boss.
However, Villa are the next chapter in Bruce’s book as he looks to secure his fifth promotion from England’s second tier.
In other Aston Villa news, fans have reacted to the appointment of the 55-year-old.