Speaking to the Daily Mail, Steve Bruce has admitted that he has not been able to get the best out of his Aston Villa squad so far this season.
Villa have started the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign poorly, and after three fixtures, Bruce’s side are in the bottom-three, without a victory to their name.
Bruce’s side impressed on the opening day of the season, drawing with Hull City, but since then, Villa have suffered back-to-back defeats on the road to Cardiff City and Reading.
The pressure is already on Bruce, after Villa’s poor start to the season – and the experienced boss has admitted his players aren’t doing enough, whilst he hasn’t managed to get the best out of them.
He said: “Should the players be performing better? Yes. The enormity of Aston Villa comes into play.
“Unfortunately, I’ve not got the best out of them as some have shied away from it. They’ve found it difficult to get established and hit the form, which is the reason they are at Aston Villa.
“They have to grasp the nettle too, to go forward they have to improve and I have to improve them.”
Bruce’s side face Norwich City this Saturday at Villa Park, but Villa are facing a striking crisis, with both Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan currently out injured.
Kodjia has not yet featured this season, as he recovers from a broken ankle, whilst Hogan limped out of Tuesday’s defeat to Reading, leaving Gabby Agbonlahor as Bruce’s only senior striking option.
Despite a shortage of strikers, Bruce has ruled out a first-team opportunity for Ross McCormack, who looks increasingly likely to leave Villa Park between now and the end of the summer.
It has been a surprisingly slow start to the season from Aston Villa, and one that not many people predicted, with most expecting Bruce to get things right at Villa Park after a full pre-season.
Things need to be turned around quickly at Villa Park as the pressure is really growing on Bruce.
Villa’s striking problems will not help Bruce’s situation, but he must use what he has available to him this week and find a way of picking up three-points against Norwich City on Saturday.
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