Date: 17th November 2007 at 4:42pm
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Outgoing Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce was apparently set to make a number of changes after errors allowed Aston Villa to secure an undeserved win at St Andrews last weekend.

It has been claimed that Bruce, who will reportedly treble his earnings by moving to Wigan at the start of next week, was set to punt Liam Ridgewell, Johan Djourou and Maik Taylor from the starting XI after schoolboy defending allowed Villa’s schoolboy attack to secure all three points.

Bruce, in what was his last interview before Wigan approached, told the Birmingham Mail: “The own goal – that should have been dealt with. The second goal – that should have been bread and butter.

“We didn’t clear, didn’t stop the cross and we were sitting too deep. As he came back on his right-hand side, we should have been up around the penalty spot.

“These are the sort of things you learn from and grow into. I am going to analyse that area of the pitch very hard.”

While we are unlikely to ever know what Bruce would have done ahead of the next game, it’s now arguably more likely that the current crop of players will retain their places to ensure a sense of continuity – at least until a new manager is officially installed.

But, as Bruce rightly claimed, there is a fine line between success and failure in the Premier League and, although there are far worse teams than Birmingham and a mid-table finish is realistic, it only takes a few lapses to raise the prospect of another relegation.