Oh no, not you.
We miss him terribly. And he misses us. Now it’s time to face off.
This weekend see’s Villa travel to the cultural epicentre that is Wolverhampton.
We go in search of our third away win in 42,978* attempts. [*Approx]
It’s not complicated. Bruce simply needs to thrash our miss-firing bunch into shape as soon as feasibly possible. Saturday at 5:30pm will do for starters.
It remains a stop/start season, which is now punctuated by the annoying habit of losing again.
Whilst the wins that have come are welcome, we certainly remain unconvincing.
The fact that we seem anchored around 12th underlines this.
Villa also have to address what is utterly unacceptable away form.
It’s nothing to do with psychology or habit. We have just not been clicking in recent weeks, seeing some games go our way by good fortune, whilst others we’ve been rightly punished for.
Wolves marked the start of the Bruce tenure, seeing us muddle to a draw at Villa Park. It was an awkward performance which laid down most of the issues for the new gaffer to see.
Equally, summer signings are proving a mixed bag, whilst the January transfer window rarely delivers upon the hype which Sky Sports would have us all believe.
On form (Last 6&10 matches), Villa come out on top, but Wolves are beginning to improve overall. It’s marginal, but it’s improvement.
Villa must exploit the creativity of Adomah and hope that Grealish can show some consistency.
Equally, much will hinge on the midfield pairing hopefully being that of Jedinah & Tshibola. The prospect of a Westwood/Gardner central combo simply just doesn’t inspire any confidence.
Up front, the attack is a growing concern with top scorer Kodjia holidaying to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ross McCormack urgently needs to find form and goals, whilst the reality that Gabby will feature layers a helping of uncertainty.
Still, we are due an away win…right?
At home Wolves have won 1 out of the last 4. (Form: 18th of 24)
At home Wolves have won 2 out of the last 8. (Form: 22nd of 24)
To contrast, Villa have won just 2 out of last 8 away. A draw then?
Wolves beat a weakened Stoke side in the FA Cup last weekend.
Villa have won 14 of 21 meetings.
Unbeaten at Molineux since 1978.
38% of this derby have ended in a draw.
You can watch the game live on Sky Sports 1 at 5:30pm on Saturday 14th January 2017.
The match will have additional poignancy as it will mark the first fixtures since Graham Taylor’s sudden passing.
By coincidence, it see’s two clubs Taylor managed meet & a minutes applause will act as a mark of respect before matches this weekend.