Steve Bruce should show some bottle and axe this senior Aston Villa man for weekend clash
COMMENT by Amir Mir
Time is ticking for Aston Villa as those early ambitions of instant promotion to the Premier League are now turning into a catastrophic nightmare.
‘A relegation scrap’, would have been the last words uttered by Steve Bruce when he walked through the doors of Bodymoor Heath in October.
But, if Villa don’t pick themselves up and start fighting in the coming weeks then that six point difference between the bottom three will shorten at an alarming rate.
The Midlands side face a difficult task at the weekend when they welcome promotion-chasing Derby County to Villa Park.
For that clash, Bruce should show some bottle and axe the under-performing Henri Lansbury who has been off-colour in recent matches.
Lansbury was one of eight January additions by Bruce, but it is fair to say his own goal on Monday night against Newcastle summed Villa up of late.
They have registered one point in 2017 and have not picked up a win since their narrow 2-1 home victory against Burton Albion on Boxing Day.
A change is needed in the middle of the park as Lansbury’s confidence seems to be shot, therefore, Bruce should bring back Gary Gardner to the midfield.
It will be a difficult test against the Rams on Saturday, in particular, against their ever-dangerous counter-attacking side.
Villa will need fresh legs in the middle of the park to ensure the likes of Tom Ince and poacher Darren Bent don’t cause too many problems.
In other Aston Villa news, Jordan Amavi sold and two new signings start in the best possible Villa starting XI for next season.