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Sky Sports pundit David Prutton suggests what Steve Bruce is now realising about managing Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce

Aston Villa are currently on a dire run of form, and lost 3-1 at home to Barnsley in midweek.

David Prutton  - Leeds UnitedDavid Prutton - Leeds United

Pundit David Prutton has told the Sky Sports EFL Weekly podcast that he thinks Steve Bruce is now learning just how tough the Aston Villa job really is.

Villa moved to appoint former Hull and Birmingham City boss Bruce back in October following the short-lived and ultimately ill-fated stint of Roberto Di Matteo.

Bruce immediately made an impact at Villa Park, losing just two of his first 13 games in charge to drag the club towards the play-off places by the end of 2016.

However, the start to 2017 has been a disaster so far. From seven league games since the turn of the year, Villa have taken just one point, and even that game saw them throw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at home with Preston North End.

The club's unbeaten home record has gone with consecutive defeats to Ipswich Town and Barnsley this week, whilst they've also been beaten away from home by Cardiff City, Wolves, Brentford and Nottingham Forest.

Despite only being appointed four months ago, Bruce is now coming under increasing scrutiny, with Villa struggling despite a spending spree in January.

Bruce oversaw the signings of eight players, as Sam Johnstone, James Bree, Jacob Bedeau, Neil Taylor, Birkir Bjarnason, Conor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury and Scott Hogan all arriving at Villa Park, but the new arrivals have yet to boost Villa's fortunes.

Now 19 points off a play-off spot, Villa's hopes of a top six place have all but gone, and at just seven points clear of the relegation zone, a shock drop into League One isn't completely out of the question just yet.

Aston Villa manager Steve BruceAston Villa manager Steve Bruce

Pundit David Prutton has now had his say, telling the Sky Sports EFL Weekly podcast that he is 'shocked' by Villa's recent form, suggesting that they are underperforming given the quality in Bruce's squad.

Prutton added that Bruce is now realising just how tough it is being Aston Villa manager right now, but remains adamant that Bruce is the right man to get the best out of the Villa squad.

“I think shocked is probably the right word,” said Prutton. “It's been such a strange period of games, and also you have to take into account the transfer process they've been through, with the players that have come in and the standard of players that have come in. You go through the team and you look at the people who have come in, the likes of Hogan, Hourihane, Lansbury and the lads who were already there.”

“It's a team that has underperformed, because Steve Bruce came in and there was a real upswing, and he's probably finding out just how tough that job actually is. You've got to put it in to context; it's probably a good few years worth he's got to sort through of the ethos of the club and the general feeling around the club. You still fundamentally believe that Steve is the man to get the most out of those highly expensive and highly remunerated players," he added.

Do you think Bruce is still the right man for Villa?

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