Villa fans blast Bruce following EFL Cup exit

Aston Villa were dumped out of the EFL Cup in the third round on Tuesday night after suffering a 2-0 home defeat to Championship rivals Middlesbrough.

A second-half double from Patrick Bamford saw Middlesbrough overcome a Villa team that had centre-back Tommy Elphick sent off in the 58th minute.

Villa boss Steve Bruce took the chance to rest a number of his first-team players amid a testing time in the Championship, but there was still plenty of experience in the XI.

After the defeat, Bruce looked to play down the League Cup exit, insisting that Villa’s main focus this season was the Championship.

The manager’s comments did not go down too well with the Villa supporters, with many turning on Bruce after the team’s inconsistent start to the 2017-18 campaign.

Villa did record a 3-0 win at Barnsley in the Championship on Saturday, however, and another positive result against Nottingham Forest in the league this weekend would ease the pressure on the former Manchester United centre-back.