Preston North End boss Alex Neil defends Steve Bruce after angry Aston Villa fan throws cabbage at under-pressure manager

Preston North End boss Alex Neil has jumped to the defence of Steve Bruce after the Aston Villa boss had a cabbage thrown at him before the 3-3 draw on Tuesday night.

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Alex Neil and Steve Bruce share a joke before kick-off on Tuesday night

Alex Neil and Steve Bruce share a joke before kick-off on Tuesday night

Bruce is under pressure to take the Villa Park club back to the Premier League and plenty of fans made their feelings known about wanting him out during a dramatic Championship clash.

It was before the game had even begun though that the vegetable was thrown at him by an angry supporter.

“I think fans have got really, really short memories at times,” said Neil.

“Before Steve Bruce came in here I was here a couple of times with Norwich and to be honest it was poisonous.

“The fans didn’t rate the team, the team didn’t look as if they were bothered and to be fair to Steve he came in and changed all that.

“When I came here with Preston last year they were doing pretty well at the time.

“He took them to the play-offs last year and I know people will talk about how much they’ve spent and all that but he took all that poison and changed it.

“That’s not easy to do. He put a good team on the pitch and got them to the play-offs.

“If memory serves me right they were in a similar position last season in that they didn’t start the season well but what they did do was got their act together and went on and finished the season really well.

“What people have got to remember is it’s not where you are after 11 games it’s where you are with five, six or seven games to go.”