Sky Bet Championship 2016-17: 5 things we learnt from Matchday 14
Another amazing Matchday of Championship football was completed over this week and there were many significant ups and downs.
Steve Bruce continued to weave his magic as the new manager at Aston Villa. Newcastle United tightened their grip on top spot with another comfortable victory and the division lost yet another manager, as Walter Zenga was relieved of his duties at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
There were mixed fortunes for two other clubs towards the bottom of the league with new Cardiff boss Neil Warnock notching up yet another impressive win but Rotherham United’s manager Kenny Jackett was unable to turn his side’s fortunes around as they suffered another loss to leave them languishing at the foot of the table.
Here are 5 things we take away from this Matchday:
#5 Bruce the magician at Villa
Steve Bruce looks to have steadied the ship already at a seemingly troubled club Aston Villa. After just 3 games in charge, Villa and Bruce remain unbeaten and have 1 draw and 2 wins so far since he joined.
His last game, a victory in an otherwise poor 1-0 home win against Fulham now has them looking upward in the league rather than down. This stretch of 3 unbeaten games is now the best run of form Villa have had since nearly 2 and a half years ago in the Premier League!
The former Birmingham City boss (Aston Villa’s local rivals) suggested it was down to belief. “Let's be honest, Villa could easily be nine or 10 points better off, if games lasted 85 minutes," Bruce added.
"Is it a mentality thing? Or does it happen too many times to be a confidence thing. If you've only won four times in 50-odd games, people can get nervous," he continued.
The Fulham game itself was largely forgettable. Jonathan Kodija volleying home with just 10 minutes remaining was the brightest spark in a very dull match. Bruce though was just happy for the team.
"We have made a decent start and I am delighted for the players. A week ago they were quiet. There have been huge changes throughout the club. We have tried to breathe a bit of life back into the players. Thankfully when they respond and get a couple of good results, that does no harm.”
He continued, "We have got to turn things around; Villa Park has been an awful place for too long. Hopefully, this is the start and we are going to go onwards and upwards."
Will this be another false dawn, or will Bruce manage to take them to the top flight?