Aston Villa (a) Premier League
Jonjo Shelvey was slow to cover as
Matt Targett crossed from the left, Fabian Schar's attempted
clearance dropping nicely for Ollie Watkins to head home at the
North end of the ground.
42 mins Jack Grealish pulled the ball back to Bertrand Traore to fire home after a corner was half-cleared. The Burkina Faso international now has six Premier League goals to his name, the first of which came for Chelsea in a 5-1 win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge in February 2016. 0-2
Half time: Villans 2 Magpies 0
"I have seen enough to be encouraged.
"We are not alone, there are other teams
in difficult runs, it is how we handle it. Keep working hard and that is the only way you will change it. I've been criticised for everything. We won't be entertaining, we don't
Perhaps the biggest "take" from his words of wisdom though was his line about every manager here in the last 15 years being in the same situation as he finds himself.
Bruce was speaking about negative media coverage and fan reaction, but hit the nail on the head in terms of what makes his achievements or failures immaterial - namely the people he works for....
Asked about an ultimatum from the club hierarchy regarding his future:
"It is absolutely the biggest pile of ***** I have ever heard."
"Yes of course I make mistakes along the way. We are only human, I've
been in it and managed nearly 500 games in the Premier League and would like
to think that deserves a little bit of respect.
"Why (change manager)? What is it going to get you and what is
it going to gain? Some of it is unbelievable (media coverage) and
maybe people need to change and give the club a little bit of respect rather
than always being negative.
"I would ask the question: what do you gauge as success? I gauge
success last year as matching Rafa's tally of points, of where we finished,
because that's where we are at this particular moment.
"We are where we are and we try to keep edging towards where I want to
take us, which is probably towards the top 10. I've said that since I've
walked through the door.
"Where did he finish? Is that a success? Probably.
"We matched the mighty Rafa last year so we'll try and do as best we can again this year."
"So we knew how important it was to continue our consistency in the league this season.
"It was a good, solid performance, certainly first half, second half I thought we overplayed a little bit too much at times.
"But for a final ball, I thought we could have scored a couple more as well.
"But, again, team spirit, work-rate, effort, everything there is there for all to see. Our quality on the ball, I thought we controlled the ball really well.
"Marvelous (Nakamba) has come in for John McGinn and I thought he had an excellent game on the ball.
really pleased for Ollie Watkins; it always weighs on a forward's mind
and it was nice to get an early goal for himself."
This won't take long - the latest
humiliation was only too familiar.....