By Football Insider speaking to Kevin Campbell

21st Feb, 2020 | 11:24am

Exclusive: Bruce tips 'Unfortunate' Aston Villa ace to bounce back after 'Difficult' spell

Alex Bruce has backed Danny Drinkwater to find his best form this season despite a difficult start to life at Aston Villa.

The former Hull City defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, admitted the 29-year-old has “struggled over the past couple of years” but insisted it is due to a lack of regular football.

Drinkwater joined on loan from Chelsea in January having spent the first half of the campaign at Turf Moor.

Since joining Dean Smith’s side the central-midfielder has made four appearances having only managed two for Burnley previously.

Bruce claimed a lack of consistent football was to blame for the downturn in the England international’s form but tipped the “Drinky” to return to his best.

“He just needs to get himself playing again,” the ex-Leeds United player told Football Insider.

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“I know Drinky well. He had a great season at Leicester and we all know what happened there.

“Since he joined Chelsea it has been a bit stop-start which has been unfortunate for him but I am sure when he starts playing on a regular basis his qualities will come through. It is difficult as a player to play once and then not play for three or four weeks.

“It is really difficult to keep picking the baton up when you are not playing regularly – it is tough. That is what he has struggled with over the last couple of years. I am sure we will see the player we know he can be.” 

The Manchester United academy graduate was instrumental in Claudio Ranieri’s miraculous title-winning Leciester side back in 2016.

However, Drinkwater has struggled since moving to Chelsea for £34million a year later which in turn has prompted loan moves elsewhere.

In other Aston Villa news, Darren Bent told Football Insider he is head over heels for new signing.