QPR boss hails “world class” Bruce – and has dig at Aston Villa fans

QPR boss Ian Holloway labelled Steve Bruce a “world class manager” who should be in charge of England – but could not resist a sly dig at Aston Villa fans following his side’s defeat.

Bruce’s Villa did the double over Rangers thanks to two 1-0 wins, both earned by £15m striker Jonathan Kodjia.

But while Holloway conceded the Ivorian was the difference between the clubs in both games, he also lavished praise on Bruce for the way he has revitalised Villa.

“Steve for me is a world class manager,” Holloway said.

“People might laugh at that but you don’t get four promotions at this level if you’re not as good as he is.

“I actually wanted him for England when he was out of work.

“They (Villa) have got the right man in charge. I think he’s fantastic, they’re lucky to have him.

“There were a few grumbles because everybody wanted to spank me out of sight. But you won, well done.”

Holloway attracted criticism from Villa supporters when, while working as a television pundit, he predicted their team would struggle this season.

But the Rangers boss insisted he had simply poured scorn on Villa owner Tony Xia’s promise to turn the newly relegated side into “the top club in Europe” in five to 10 years.

“I said how difficult it was, with how badly they came down, to actually be in the top two clubs in Europe. And if I’m a bad pundit for saying that, then shoot me,” he said.

“I’m not a pundit, I’m a football manager. I don’t get paid as much as all the others because I don’t deserve it and I don’t get to buy the players that everybody else does.

“But I do alright with them – so, bothered.”