Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce claims teenage full-back James Bree did not deserve to be on the losing side, following his debut at Nottingham Forest, reports the club’s official website.
19-year old Bree, featured for the first time for Villa in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at the City Ground after arriving from Barnsley over the course of the January transfer window.
Despite the disappointing result, Bree impressed and Bruce was quick to praise the youngster: “James is only 19 but he’s definitely got a big, bright future ahead of him.”
Villa’s performance came under scrutiny, as they slipped 13-points behind the play-off places, Bruce continued:
“He looked a very good player in the game against Forest and, in my opinion, shouldn’t have been on the losing side on his debut. But unfortunately he was. “
Bree joined Villa from the Tykes during the New Year transfer window, signing a four-and-a-half year deal at Villa Park after impressing over in Yorkshire.
The right-back was one of seven new faces Bruce brought in over January, with Bree’s ex-Barnsley teammate Conor Hourihane also joining the club.
Bruce’s side now face an almost impossible battle to reach the play-offs in May, as they currently sit closer to the relegation zone than the top-six.
Villa welcome Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town to Villa Park on Saturday, where Bree is expected to keep the experienced Alan Hutton, out of the side.
Villa fans… were you impressed with James Bree’s debut versus Nottingham Forest? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!