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Paul Lambert verdict on Steve Bruce ahead of Birmingham clash

By Amir Mir

Former Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes Steve Bruce has not changed much since taking over the helm at Villa Park.

Former Hull City and Birmingham City boss Bruce replaced the axed Roberto Di Matteo in early October, after the Italian was sacked after a poor start to the Championship campaign.

Since his arrival, the promotion expert is unbeaten in his first three games in charge, earning back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

Bruce is the fourth man to take over the reigns at the Midlands giants since Lambert was sacked in February 2015.

The former midfielder revealed what his managerial counterpart has done to get the club back to winning ways in recent weeks.

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“I don’t think he’s changed too much,” Lambert told Sky Sports News, as quoted by HITC. “He will have put an arm around them and given them some confidence. He’s been around a lot of clubs and knows the game well. His personality is probably reflecting on the team at the minute.”

Bruce now visits his old stomping ground to take on bitter rivals Birmingham, in a highly-anticipated second City derby on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues are unbeaten in their last two home fixtures, with Villa recording their first away win since August 2015 last Tuesday at Reading.

Villa are 16th in the table with 17 points to their name, six points behind their rivals, as Bruce’s men look to close the gap on a play-off spot.

In other Aston Villa team news, supporters react with mixed views on Twitter to the possible return of Gabby Agbonlahor against Birmingham.