Sheffield Wednesday: Aston Villa boss Dean Smith says Steve Bruce deserves ‘every credit’ for promotion
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith says former manager Steve Bruce deserves “every credit” as his side was promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs.
The former Sheffield Wednesday defender masterminded Villa’s 2-1 win over Frank Lampard’s Derby County at Wembley on Monday, but said current Owls chief Bruce should be praised for assembling the winning squad.
Speaking to Quest TV after the game, Smith said: “I was loving my job at Brentford.
“Unfortunately someone has to lose their job for me to get this.
“But you know, Steve Bruce’s signings have scored – El Ghazi and John McGinn. He's got to take every credit as well.”
Bruce was sacked as Villa boss in October after a tough start to the season on the back of last season’s play-off final defeat to Fulham.
He nearly took Wednesday into the play-offs after succeeding Jos Luhukay at Hillsborough and mounting an end of season charge for the top six, before eventually finishing 12th in the Championship.
Smith, who played for Wednesday for one season in the 2003/04 campaign, previously managed the Bees and Walsall before taking the job at Villa Park.