Bruce shares details of text message sent from Aston Villa chief Xia

By Harry Sykes

Steve Bruce has revealed that Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has sent a text message to assure him his job is safe and he has the full support of the board.

Bruce is being questioned by Villa fans after overseeing a wretched run of results that have ended the club’s hopes of an instant return to the Premier League.

The Midlands giants have lost six of their last seven league matches, including four on the trot, and are a distant 22 points adrift of the final play-off spot.

There are now fears Villa could get dragged into a relegation battle as their dreadful form has left fans looking nervously at a league table that shows the club just six points above the drop zone.

Experienced manager Bruce was hired in October following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and handed the task of securing the fifth Championship promotion of his career.

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The word from Chinese businessman Xia is that the former Sunderland, Hull, Birmingham and Wigan boss has his total backing.

“He has messaged me his support,” said Bruce, as quoted by the Telegraph. “I think he is desperate for me to turn it round. He understands. What we don’t understand is the run we are on.

“But I will turn it around. I need time and, of course, I need a few ­results. But six weeks ago I’m the saviour and now it’s off with his head. That’s how it is these days.”

The frustration from supporters partly stems from the £20million spent by Bruce in the January window and its failure to reap immediate dividends.

The recruitment drive enabled the club to acquire senior men Sam Johnstone, Henri Lansbury, James Bree, Birkir Bjarnason, Conor Hourihane, Neil Taylor, Scott Hogan and youngster Jacob Bedeau.

But the new signings have struggled to make an impact for a team that is punching well below its weight.

Villa are aiming to end their horror run on Monday night when they travel to second-placed Newcastle for a clash of the fallen giants at St James’ Park.

In other Aston Villa news, this Championship goalkeeper has given his verdict on January interest from Bruce’s side.

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