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'They're a difficult lot': Former Aston Villa boss recounts moment his own fans threw a CABBAGE at him before a match

'They're a difficult lot': Former Aston Villa boss recounts moment his own fans threw a CABBAGE at him before a match
Former Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has revealed how an angry fan threw a CABBAGE at him before a match during his final days in charge of the famous English club.

Bruce, whose Newcastle United side travel to Villa Park on Monday night for a crucial Premier League clash, said that his spell at the midlands side was one of the most difficult times in his managerial career to date.

The incident, which occurred before Bruce's Villa side drew 3-3 with Preston North End, proved to be the final straw as he was dismissed by the club following the match. And the Manchester United legend, who has managed a plethora of clubs in England's top two divisions, spoke about his tumultuous time at Villa as he prepared to face his old club.

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"It was one of the most unsavory times of my career," he admitted.

"I thought it was a ball to begin with, it was a big old thing. How the fan got it into the stadium I don't know.

"It didn't miss me by much. The fans can throw some things, but a cabbage? I went (was sacked) the next day, though, so I didn't have time to get angry about it."

Bruce had taken Villa to within one win of the Premier League back in 2017/18 when he led his side to the Championship playoff final, where they lost out to Fulham.

And a slow start to the following campaign that saw his side win just three of their first 11 games prompted the Villa board to act as he was dismissed from the post. Since Bruce's departure, Dean Smith has managed to lead the club back up to the Premier League.

And now they will face Bruce on Monday night as he takes charge of his hometown club, Newcastle, against the club who cast him aside a year ago.

"I got criticized (by Villa fans), but for 18 months only Manchester City scored more goals than us. They're a difficult lot," he said.

"Great club, great support with great history, but it was in a mess. It was arguably my most difficult job, even more difficult than this."

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