COMMENT By Amir Mir

Leandro Bacuna started his first game for Aston Villa since October when he helped his side beat QPR 1-0 at Loftus Road on Sunday afternoon.

The senior Villa player has been highly criticised in the past by supporters for stating that he wanted to play Champions League football while his side were on the verge of relegation.

However, his performances under Steve Bruce, in particular at the weekend, have been impressive and one which could help his team to promotion this term.

The 25-year-old has played 13 Championship games this season, providing one assist, but he is yet to score a goal.

Bacuna’s all-round play against the R’s is what Bruce has been missing in recent weeks. His energy on the ball, ability to run at defenders and passing ability is what Villa require in the middle of the park.

As a result the versatile player can become an unsung hero for his side and win back supporters with his positive performances on the pitch.

Villa take on Burton Albion on Boxing Day and Bacuna mus start in midfield to help Bruce record back-to-back wins.

There is no doubt that Bacuna should get ahead of someone like Ashley Westwood in the starting XI as the latter cannot impact a game like his Dutch teammate.

But if Bacuna can add goals to his game then he will be become a very dangerous weapon in Bruce’s promotion challenge during the second half of the season.

In other Aston Villa news, Ian Taylor hails this immense defender after QPR win.