Aston Villa moved back to within reach of the top-six following a hard-fought win over playoff rivals Middlesbrough.
Robert Snodgrass’ late back-post header ensured the three points returned to the West Midlands with Steve Bruce’s travelling side, with the result condemning new Boro boss Tony Pulis to defeat in his first game in charge.
Villa had been considered serious contenders for automatic promotion following an excellent run of form in November, but no win in five before yesterday’s victory has seen the Villains slide out of the hotly-contested playoff positions.
Bruce had been under mounting pressure from sections of the crowd, with many calling for the former Hull City boss’ head following their poor form in December.
Victory at Boro will buy Bruce some time, who will hope to continue his side’s winning run tomorrow evening when his side take on high-flying Bristol City at Villa Park.
Lee Johnson’s men go into the game on the back of defeat to league leaders Wolves, and Bruce will hope to capitalise on their lapse by piling more misery on the Ashton Gate side.
Villa fans took to Twitter to have their say on yesterday’s vital win in the north east…
Get in! #BruceOut
— Mike (@Villa_Fan) December 30, 2017
Good 3 points but does nothing to change my view of Bruce, his performance or the changes that need to be made.
— Mark Ashmore (@mg_ashmore) December 30, 2017
— Graham Dixon (@GrahamDxon) December 30, 2017
It may not have been ‘illustrious’ but that was a really gutsy performance and deserved 3pts. Grealish made a difference and gave us a spark but every Villa player gave his all.
— Dean (@deanopearce) December 30, 2017
What a result now roll on Bristol City ????????????????????
— David o mahony (@Davidomahony18) December 30, 2017
Absolute joke that fans were calling for Bruce's head before the game when we lost to a good Brentford side #BruceIn
— J.O (@Onomahgical) December 30, 2017
Hopefully back on track, great result! #UTV
— Nathan Collins (@nathcollins1) December 30, 2017
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