Former Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce is the "right man" to become the next Aston Villa boss, according to former Blues midfielder Robbie Savage. Bruce, who managed Birmingham between 2001 and 2007, is favourite to replace Roberto di Matteo at Villa Park after the Italian was sacked on Monday. Former Manchester United defender Bruce, 55, has been without a club since leaving Hull City in July. "It suits Bruce at this time in his career," Savage told BBC Radio 5 live. "He lives in the area, he's got experience in the division. He took Birmingham up, he took Hull up. "He won't have to travel, he won't have to uproot, it's a massive pull living in the area."
Blues were relegated from the Premier League during the 2005-06 season with Bruce in charge, but he led them back to the top flight the following campaign. Mike Riley, Robbie Savage Birmingham. Robbie Savage made 88 appearances for Blues between 2002 and 2005. Savage, who now works as a BBC pundit, played under Bruce at St Andrew's. "It all boils down to results and his performances for Birmingham against Villa in the derbies. When we were in the Premier League, we absolutely battered them time after time," Savage added. "I think Villa fans will remember that. They had better players than us but we had this team spirit, this togetherness and we battered them more times than not in massive pressure games so I think Bruce will be the right man."
Former England defender Danny Mills told the Monday Night Club on BBC Radio 5 live that the Championship side had to get the "best man for the job". "I don't understand this fixation that he was Birmingham manager so he can't do a good job for Aston Villa," Mills said. "It makes no sense. Surely if he goes there and does a good job, fans have got to come around to that way of thinking. "It's not like he was born and bred at Birmingham, played there his whole life. He's managed other clubs." In 2011, Villa appointed Alex McLeish, who had resigned as Birmingham boss days earlier, but he was sacked 11 months later.