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14th Sep, 2017 | 4:05pm

Ray Wilkins: This is why Steve Bruce is struggling at Aston Villa

By Abigail Withey 

Former Aston Villa assistant manager Ray Wilkins believes that Steve Bruce’s issues at the West Midlands club are down to a case of bad timing more than anything else.

Bruce was appointed as Villa’s manager in October 2016 after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked after just four months in charge.

Villa have had a less than impressive start to their 2017/18 Championship campaign after managing to win just one of their seven matches in the competition.

Wilkins was asked about struggling managers Harry Redknapp of Birmingham City, Sunderland’s Simon Grayson and Villa boss Steve Bruce during an interview on TalkSport and he simply thinks it’s down to a case of their respective clubs undergoing big changes before they were brought in.

“All of these guys you mention – Harry, Steve and Simon, they’ve all gone in during these transitional periods at these clubs,” Wilkins said, as shown on Alan Brazil’s TalkSport Breakfast Show.

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“They’re all big clubs in their own right and the expectancy from their supporters is always overhyped.

“You have to have reality not expectancy.

“I’m sure in the Championship, especially when you’re playing 46 league games, they will have their period where they will start forcing their way up the table, no question about it.”

Most recently Bruce’s squad hosted Middlesbrough in the Championship, which ended as a goalless draw, adding even more pressure on the Villa Park boss.

Both side’s saw a player be handed a red card after Boro’s Adama Traore was sent off just four minutes into the game and Villa midfielder Henri Lansbury was dismissed in the 64th minute.

The Midlands club has since confirmed that they have appealed against Lansbury’s red card on the grounds of wrongful dismissal.

Bruce’s side will head to the Oakwell ground to face Barnsley on Saturday in their next Championship clash and will no doubt be looking to returning to winning ways.

In other Aston Villa news, former Premier League referee Jeff Winter has delivered his verdict on Henri Lansbury’s red card.

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