Stuart Pearce has told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show, which was broadcast on TalkSPORT on 6th June, that Aston Villa have a lot of work to do before they can be considered promotion contenders.
Villa are looking to make an immediate return to the top flight, following their first relegation from the Premier League last season.
The Claret and Blues have appointed Roberto Di Matteo to take them forward, but Pearce feels that they need to make improvements off the field, before they can fulfil their potential.
“He [Di Matteo] needs to have a good look at the squad and build the club again,” Pearce said. “[He needs to] build the links between the football club and the fans.
“They have great fan support, it’s a massive club, but at this moment in time that interaction between fans, players and owners is not good at Villa.”
Despite the work that needs to be done at Villa, they are still one of the favourites to achieve promotion from the Championship.
Villa are expected to have competition from Sheffield Wednesday, however, and Pearce believes Carlos Carvalhal’s side will kick on again next term, after making the play offs this time around.
“They have come on leaps and bounds,” Pearce said. “I wasn’t sure that they would be in the play offs [last season], but you would expect them to get stronger again next season.”
Wednesday lost the play off final against Hull City 1-0, as they missed out on promotion this past season.
Pearce will also have a close eye on Nottingham Forest’s fortunes next term.
Forest are not considered amongst the most likely candidates to feature at the top end of the Championship, and Pearce does not believe that his former side will challenge for promotion.
“Unless they change the structure of the football club they won’t get promoted, it saddens me to say that,” the former Forest boss added.