Aston Villa's Alan Hutton hints that players had an easy ride under Steve Bruce

2nd November 2018, Villa Park, Birmingham, England; EFL Championship football, Aston Villa versus Bolton Wanderers; Alan Hutton of Aston Villa blocks a cross from Lloyd Dyer of Bolton...

Aston Villa were on a downward spiral towards the end of Steve Bruce's reign.

Ryan Shotton of Middlesbrough battles for possession with Alan Hutton of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final second leg match between Aston Villa and...

Aston Villa stalwart Alan Hutton sat down for an exclusive interview with the club's official website, and hinted that he and his teammates had too much of an easy ride under the management of Steve Bruce.

The Villans began their 2018/19 Championship campaign in woeful fashion, winning just one match from August 18th to October 2nd - a run that culminated with Bruce's sacking last month.

 

There have been signs of a resurgence under Dean Smith, however, and it seems as though the players have been given a new lease of life under the guidance of the former Brentford boss.

Hutton spoke exclusively to the club's official website, and admitted that he and his teammates are relishing playing under Smith's more intense regime:

Alan Hutton of Aston Villa runs with the ball during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final:First Leg match between Middlesbrough and Aston Villa at Riverside Stadium on May 12, 2018...

"There's a big emphasis on pressing, getting to the ball quicker and winning it back quicker. That, of course, is going to allow us to get forward more. It's been intense, but we've taken to it well. We're enjoying the hard work."

Next up for Villa is a trip to in-form Derby Country on Saturday, and Smith's men will have to be at their very best, if they are to have any chance whatsoever of toppling Frank Lampard's side.

Dean Smith head coach of Aston Villa in action during a training session at the club's training ground at Bodymoor Heath on October 18, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

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