Football - Aston Villa v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League - Villa Park - 29/8/15 Former Aston Villa Player Ian Taylor signs a autograph before the match Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Ryan Browne Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

By Russell Edge

Former Aston Villa midfielder Ian Taylor has claimed that expectations will be even greater on Steve Bruce’s side next season after a disappointing first campaign in the Championship.

The Villans were expected to challenge for at least a play off-spot after dropping out of the Premier League, but have struggled and find themselves in 13th on 58 points, the lowest of the three relegated sides.

Yet Taylor, who made 233 appearances for Villa between 1994 and 2003 believes that there will be even more weight on the club’s shoulders next season.

He told the Birmingham Mail: “Next season the expectation is promotion. Definitely.”

Taylor also praised boss Steve Bruce for his work since joining the Birmingham based side.

Bruce took over from former manager Roberto Di Matteo back in October after a disappointing start to the season, and Taylor believes that the club have the right man at the helm to lead them back to the top flight.

“I think Steve Bruce has done really well since he has come into the club,” he said to the Birmingham Mail.

“He has had to deal with the legacy of relegation, get his own type of players in and get the players he didn’t want out.

“There’s big pressure on him but I’m sure he can cope with it. He’s done it before and hopefully he can do it again.”

The club have invested a reported £70m over the season in a bid to challenge at the top of the table, including signing the likes of Ross McCormack, Mile Jedinak and Scott Hogan.

However 48-year-old Taylor believes that yet more investment is needed to push on for promotion in the 2017/18 season.

He told the Birmingham Mail: “I don’t think we are far off where we want to be with the players we have brought in already over the last year.

“We are a couple of players short of where we want to be in my opinion.”

In other Aston Villa news, the club were made favourites by the bookies to secure the signing of a 25 goal striker.

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