Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has revealed that he was holding secret discussions in a bid to capture experienced coach Steve Agnew from Championship rivals Middlesbrough.
The Villans confirmed on Friday that the former Hull City coach, where he worked under Bruce during their time on the east coast, has joined the club from Boro, and has started work with immediate effect.
The 52-year-old, who picked up playing experience with the likes of Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland, also earned himself Premier League managerial knowledge, having taken charge of 11 games as Middlesbrough’s caretaker manager following the departure of Aitor Karanka last season.
Now that the deal is done, Bruce has revealed the efforts which he went to in order to bring the 52-year-old in to Villa Park, which included keeping talks a secret before Friday’s reveal.
He told the Birmingham Mail: “It’s something I’ve been working quietly on over the last couple of months.
“He’s an excellent coach. Colin (Calderwood) is still my assistant but I’ve put Steve as the head of coaching.
“I had a great relationship with him at Hull so let’s hope he can work a bit of magic on the training pitch.”
Bruce will be hoping that Agnew’s arrival on the training ground can help boost the team’s performances on the pitch, having witnessed his side slip to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Derby County in their last outing.
They play host to Sheffield United on Wednesday, who are sat level on points and just a single place behind the Villans in the last of the Championship play off spots.
In other Aston Villa news, a Sky Sports pundit has delivered his verdict on the club’s clash against Sheffield United.