Steve Bruce insists he always took Aston Villa fans’ ‘Potato Head’ jibes as a compliment after taking charge of the Championship club on Wednesday.
Bruce, who has been appointed to replace Roberto Di Matteo at Villa Park, is a former manager of fierce rivals Birmingham City, earning him special attention from Villa supporters in previous years.
But the ex-Hull City boss says he never took any offence from the chants, adding that he had been subject to nicknames referencing his appearance for much of his career.
“I’ve been used to being called ‘Potato Head’ by them for 20 years and ‘Fathead’ at Liverpool or whatever,” he said.
“I always took it as a bit of a compliment. If they’re against you then they usually quite like you.
“All I’ll ask is for them all to get behind the team and get behind the club again.
“They’re a fantastically loyal support and I’ll try my utmost to make sure we get back to where we want to get to.”
Bruce is keen to leave his Birmingham City past behind him and focus on returning Villa to the Premier League.
“I’ve lived in the area now for 15 years and enjoyed it so much that I’ve made it my home,” he added.
“Of course when the opportunity came to manage a club of this stature… I’m an out of work football manager.
“It’s one of the great clubs of our country with great tradition and a huge passionate support that would attract many managers.
“When I got the call we didn’t discuss what went on in the past just what can we do now and in the future.
“I understand the rivalry, we all do. I hope I can bring success here. We need to get back in the big league.”
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