By Amir Mir
Steve Bruce has jokingly urged Birmingham City fans to be more creative with their chanting towards him when Aston Villa visit St Andrews on Sunday afternoon.
Recently-appointed Villa manager Bruce will return to his old club at the weekend for a highly anticipated second City derby.
Bruce won two promotions during his time with Birmingham between 2001-2007, but will be expected to receive a hostile reception, as he returns to St Andrews with their fiercest rivals.
The former centre-back was in attendance during Birmingham’s 2-0 loss at Burton Albion on Friday, where he received chants of “potato head” aimed at him from the away support.
But, Bruce, who had those very chants aimed at him during his City days from Villa supporters, has jokingly asked the Blues supporters to be more creative in their chanting against him.
“I don’t mind if it’s banter to be taken in jest, but – come on, Birmingham fans, you need to get a bit more original,” said Bruce, as quoted by the Telegraph. “And I haven’t got a fat head anymore, or so people tell me.”
Villa are unbeaten in their first three games under Bruce’s reign, including picking up back-to-back wins against Reading and Fulham.
By contrast Gary Rowett’s side have lost two of their last three league fixtures, heading into the Midlands derby.
Bruce’s men are 16th in the Championship table, with 17 points from 14 games, while their rivals are one place outside a play-off spot on 23 points.
In other Aston Villa team news, this senior man could be joining Scottish Champions Celtic, weeks after leaving the Midlands club.