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Best of Bruce: Five moments

Best of Bruce: Five moments

It's been a rollercoaster first year in the hot seat for our manager Steve Bruce, but a highly enjoyable one.

We've had the pleasure of taking it all in on and off the field, and have marked his anniversary by compiling some of his best moments in the job.

From player-like celebrations and witty one-liners to lifting spirits and revealing a soft spot, here are some of our most entertaining snippets from an eventful 12 months.

October 2016: Welcome to Villa

After a disappointing start to the 2016/17 season, Bruce was appointed as our new manager on October 12 and tasked with turning things around.

Having achieved four previous Championship promotions, there was no better man to take the reins and try and get the club back where it belongs.

It was a baptism of fire for the new boss, who took on Wolves for his first match in charge while 19th in the league.

A 1-1 draw at Villa Park marked a good start to his tenure, and we went unbeaten from that point until December.

Bruce press conference

October 2016: A football man, a good man

After an intense day doing his first press conference in front of almost 50 journalists, and then undertaking break off interviews with organisations such as BBC Sport, ITV Sport, BBC Radio WM and TalkSport, Bruce still went the extra mile to make people's day.

He spotted a training session under way in the Indoor Barn at Bodymoor Heath, where the Villa U9s were being put through their paces.

Bruce headed straight over, offering sound advice, posing for pictures and signing autographs for our potential stars of the future - proving he is just the character for the job.

Bruce U9 training

February 2017: Facebook Live

"Facebook Live, is it? Does anybody actually watch it...?"

February was a month to forget on the field, with four straight defeats having taken place.

But Bruce is well known for his ability to keep spirits high during the ups and downs of a season.

In the midst of our bad run, he at least kept club media smiling when it came to a Facebook Live of his press conference.

The boss, not so familiar with modern day social media technologies, jokingly questioned whether anybody tuned in for his pre-match thoughts.

Of course, we informed him afterwards that many do!

February 2017: The big man upstairs!

Another moment from his February press conferences that had the room in hysterics.

Asked before the Newcastle United game where he turns to in moments of hardship, Bruce gave an answer no one expected.

"The big man upstairs," he said, while raising his arms above his head.

"Where are you? Where is he in my hour of need?" 

August 2017: Football is back, and so is Brucie

There's no feeling like that first game back as a brand new season gets under way.

That was especially true for us in August, when we took the lead against Hull City inside seven minutes - getting the campaign off to a flyer.

And the gaffer's celebrations did it justice, as Bruce flew down the touchline fist-pumping the air before reverting to a slightly more subtle clap of the hands.

Here's to many more of those moments!


Dan Connor
By @danconnor 12th October 2017