By 90Min
October 09, 2017

This week will mark a year since Steve Bruce took the Aston Villa manager job. His first game in charge came on October 15th 2016, a 1-1 draw with Wolves with his first win coming just three days later away at Reading. 

Bruce helped guide Villa away from any relegation trouble last season with the club eventually finishing 13th. 

The Birmingham Mail have been reflecting on the former Wigan boss' first 12 months at Villa Park and picked out some of his best quotes. 

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As a former Birmingham City coach, Bruce had come in for plenty of stick in his previous visits to Villa Park. In his first press conference: "I’ve been used to being called Potato Head by them for 20 years and Fathead at Liverpool or whatever."

"I always took it as a bit of a compliment. If they’re against you then they usually quite like you." 

Soon after arriving at the club, Bruce put much maligned striker Gabby Agbonlahor on a fitness regime. 

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He said: "He’s even started swimming, would you believe? He’s not very fond of it, but he’s trying. It’s not a very pleasant sight when he’s in the swimming pool I have to tell you, but he’s trying like a beast!" 

"I had to come out because it was that embarrassing. I had to throw him a floater." The hard work for Agbonlahor paid off as he netted the winner in a Second City Derby in April. 

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Villa's away form was something that Bruce was keen to rectify when he took over and before a trip to Brentford in January, he said: "If we're going to do something we've now got to start addressing it away from home because we've thrown the hand grenade in a few times where we haven't done enough." 


Sadly for Villa, another hand grenade was thrown in at Griffin Park, they lost 3-0. 

When asked why he had subbed off Henri Lansbury, Bruce came out with another gem: "I have done it twice now because he is on nine bookings and I want him in the team. That is probably why he is on nine bookings because he can’t tackle a fish supper!" 

Things have improved on the field for Villa in 2017-18. They've won four in a row and are unbeaten in eight to lie on the fringes of the play-offs. 


They face two massive Midlands derbies in the coming weeks with trips to Wolves and Birmingham, sandwiched in between is a home game with Fulham.

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