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Steve Bruce quizzed over potential Villa problems stemming from Birmingham job

By Amir Mir

Aston Villa managerial candidate Steve Bruce has stated supporters must not “go over the past”, making reference to his Birmingham City days.

Free agent Bruce managed Villa’s City rivals for seven years, winning two promotions and is now favourite to replace Roberto Di Matteo at the Championship club.

Bruce confirmed on Sunday morning that he has held talks with the Midlands side over the vacant managerial post.

There is a precedent to the move – Alex McLeish joined Villa from Birmingham, but proved to be an unpopular appointment and was sacked 11 months later.

During his appearance on Sky Sports Goals on Sunday, Bruce was asked if he’d thought about the problems McLeish had faced during his reign at Villa Park.

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“I think that’s the big thing everyone has to weigh up,” Bruce replied. “Look it was ten years ago and you cannot go over the past because at the end of the day now I’m an out of work football manager.

“I’m not worried. I think most people now have come to accept that it was ten years ago. I think Alex [McLeish] walked from one end to the other.

“But there have been people working in the background for years, who have been involved with both, so I don’t think in this day and age it will be a big, big problem. I hope not anyway.”

Former Manchester United centre-back Bruce has won promotion to the Premier League on four occasions, most recently with Hull last season, before departing the Tigers in the summer.

Villa sit in 19th place in the Championship table, with ten points from 11 games, and are searching for their first win since August.

Caretaker boss Steve Clarke is currently in charge of first team duties at Bodymoor Heath, with Wolves set to visit Villa Park after the international break.

In other Aston Villa news, Stan Collymore believes this manager would be insane to join the Championship club.