Pundits Andy Townsend and Chris Sutton have told BBC Radio Five Live that they think Aston Villa will win promotion back to the Premier League under Steve Bruce this season.
Villa beat Cardiff City 3-1 on Saturday afternoon thanks to goals from Albert Adomah, Jonathan Kodjia and Rudy Gestede, meaning new manager Bruce is yet to lose after seven games in charge.
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce
With four wins and three draws in his seven games, Bruce has Villa moving in the right direction after a slow start to the season, and they now lie just four points off the play-off places.
This is exactly why Bruce was brought in to replace Roberto Di Matteo last month. The 55-year-old four promotions to the Premier League on his CV, and after Villa's embarrassing relegation campaign last season, they needed somebody to take the club back to the top flight.
Di Matteo proved to be inadequate, but Bruce has taken the same group of players and avoided defeat in seven games, showing just how impressive he is at Championship level.
Ahead of this weekend's trip to take on Leeds United, pundits Andy Townsend and Chris Sutton – who both had spells with Villa during their playing careers – have offered their thoughts on Bruce and Villa, with both tipping them for promotion.
Townsend told BBC Radio Five Live that he felt that Bruce was the outstanding candidate for the job, and feels that Villa have got the right man to take them back to the Premier League this season.
Sutton added that Bruce is a 'brilliant manager', and should have been given a chance with a top Premier League club, but will take Villa up to the top flight again in his first season with the club.
"I think Steve was the absolute right candidate for Villa after what's been one disaster after another," said Townsend. "I thought Steve was the genuine, outstanding candidate to not only get in there and give the place a lift, but to get them promoted, and ultimately consolidate Villa's position back in the big time where they belong. It is a wonderful club, it's a huge club, I enjoyed so many great occasions, and I think they've got the right man - I think they will do it."
"It was a brilliant appointment, and he's a brilliant manager. I think that he should have been given a chance at the top end of the Premier League; he's been around, he's proved himself enough. He's going to get Villa up this season, they've got momentum, he's been there before - I think Villa will go up," added Sutton.
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