By Richard Wakefield
The solitary point against Wolves on Saturday night was a wake up call for Villa and newly appointed manager Steve Bruce as Villa climbed out of the Championship relegation zone. With no wins in ten matches, Aston Villa may start to be looking over their shoulder a lot more than they expected.
Steve Bruce hopes to stop the rot as Villa travel down south to Reading where the hosts are unbeaten at the Madejski Stadium all season. With an extra day of training with the squad, Steve Bruce may have clearer picture of who will be donning the claret and blue strip on Tuesday night in an attempt to derail Jaap Stam’s men.
Here’s three ways of making sure it happens…
3. Clean Slate
When the phrases ‘Give everybody a chance’ and ‘clean slate’ are banded around the Villa fans, immediately players such as Gabby Agbonlahor and Micah Richards come to mind. However, the start Roberto Di Matteo has given Villa is nothing short of disastrous and there are only a handful of players like Kodjia, Chester and McCormack who are certified starters in the team. Other signings like Jedinak and Elphick have unfortunately not met the expectations that the Villa fans set for them.
Steve Bruce’s main problem will be instilling a work ethic and tactics that will thrive in the Championship using players that he did not personally sign. Therefore, giving every player, new and old, a fair chance to break into the first team would add some much needed urgency to the player’s performances as they realise the competition for places is as intense as ever.