Steve Bruce says he’s “quietly confident” of mounting a big challenge for promotion next term.
Bruce’s attempts to lead Villa into the play-offs this season look gone now, with his team 11 points off sixth with five games remaining.
However, Bruce – who will have pre-season to shape his squad ahead of the coming campaign – thinks his side can be at the forefront of a Premier League push in 2017/18.
I am always confident that I can put a team together that can get out of this division.
He said: “I am always confident that I can put a team together that can get out of this division.
“I have done it before and it would be terrific to do it here.
“It’s never going to be easy because of who we are. We are the big scalp in this division. Everyone wants to turn us over.
“All the teams that come to Villa Park want to perform on the big stage and in the big arena. So all the bits and pieces make it difficult.
“But I am quietly confident that we will be able to mount a challenge and hopefully we will be good enough.
“The one thing we need at a club like ours is to play in the big league. We will try our best.
“Whoever is sitting in the chair here at Aston Villa, we’ve got to mount a challenge. I’m under no illusion that we have to mount a challenge. That’s the way it is.
“If you’re managing Aston Villa, you’ve got to mount a challenge to get out of this division.”