By Will Butcher
Alan Curbishley believes Steve Bruce must mastermind an Aston Villa win against Barnsley at Villa Park to kickstart his side’s stuttering season.
The Midlands outfit go up against Paul Heckingbottom’s side on Tuesday night, as the Tykes remain one of the surprise packages of the Championship season so far, sitting in 10th place.
Speaking to Sky Sports’ Premier League Daily Show on Tuesday morning, out-of-work manager Curbishley believes Villa fans are becoming irritated but a win against Barnsley will ease their frustrations.
“Steve went and invested in the January transfer window, and the board has backed him by bringing in his own players but it hasn’t really happened for him,” Curbishley claimed.
“The Villa faithful are getting restless, and he needs to start turning it around. Bruce is a vastly experienced manager but he needs a result tonight to stop the rot.”
Villa brought in eight new players in the January transfer window, spending big on the likes of Scott Hogan, Conor Hourihane and Henri Lansbury.
However, they have failed to taste victory in the last eight league and cup encounters and suffered six defeats along the way against the likes of Wolves, Nottingham Forest and Ipswich.
Now sitting in a lowly 16th place and 16 points away from the play-offs, Villa have it all to do if they are to continue Bruce’s reputation as a Championship promotion expert.
Playing host to Barnsley, January signings Hourihane and right-back James Bree are set to go up against their old side less than a month after joining the relegated Premier League side.
A win for Villa and Bruce could see them rise to 13th in the league table, if Brentford, Ipswich and Cardiff all drop points.
In other Aston Villa news, fans have urged Bruce to start this 29-year-old ace against Yorkshire outfit Barnsley.