Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry has risked irritating Aston Villa’s fans and the Championship club’s hierarchy ahead of tomorrow’s (January 6) FA Cup third round tie at Villa Park.
Fry, a former Birmingham City manager, criticised a section of the Villa support for abusing their own manager, Steve Bruce. He also took a swipe at a perceived lack of ambition from Villa’s owners.
Fry said: “Villa fans do not know how lucky they are to have Steve Bruce. Steve could easily have been Manchester United or England’s manager let alone Villa’s.
“I can’t understand some of the stick Steve has received since he took over at the club as his record at getting Championship teams into the Premier League is second to none.
“Villa have been in turmoil since Martin O’Neill left in my opinion. I am amazed at the lack of ambition shown by the Villa owner. Why buy Villa if you don’t want to take them back to the Premier League?
“They have a great stadium, training ground and a huge fan base. I cannot believe the club is not backing Steve to the hilt.”
Villa owner Tony Xia, who has spent almost £80 million in two transfer windows, told the Birmingham Mail: “Lots of fans asked me to comment about someone’s opinion about ‘ambition.’
“I did learn dreams only come true when you practically work hard on it and I do think we may need one or two strengths at the most, no more instability.”
It also prompted a response from Chief Executive Keith Wyness who simply said on Twitter that he was looking forward to seeing Fry at the weekend.