Aston Villa

Bruce backs under fire defender

New Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has backed defender Aly Cissokho despite the player giving away penalty kicks in successive matches according to the Birmingham Mail.

The 29 year old Frenchman committed a handball in the 1-1 draw with neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers at Villa Park on Saturday to concede a penalty kick while a clumsy challenge in the area in the match at Reading on Tuesday evening also saw the referee point to the spot.

Both incidents resulted in the opposition scoring from the resulting spot kicks but despite Cissokho’s defensive errors, manager Bruce has given his public backing to the player. The defender was substituted at The Madejski Stadium and the player now faces a nervous few days to wait to discover whether he will start the match against Fulham at Villa Park on Saturday despite receiving his manager’s support.

Cissokho joined Aston Villa in summer 2014 from Spanish club Valencia. The player has made 58 appearances in claret and blue while he has two years remaining on his current Villa deal.

Cissokho was not punished for his poor decision making at The Madejski Stadium with Villa winning their first away fixture since the start of the 2015/2016 season. Villa’s 2-1 success follows on from the point earned from Bruce’s first match in charge against Wolverhampton Wanderers and the feel good factor could soon return to Villa Park if those promising results can continue.

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