The Championship team claimed their first away win in over a year with a 2-1 victory at Reading on Tuesday night, in Bruce’s only second game in charge.
Being something of a promotion specialist, Bruce was seen as the perfect man to turn around Villa’s fortunes when he was appointed last week.
He inherited a team shot of confidence and in desperate need of a good result, and having already taken four points from his first two games in charge, Bruce is confident the gloom is beginning to lift at Villa Park.
Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White following Tuesday’s win, the manager said: “When you get relegated there’s a doom and gloom and that surrounds everybody and Aston Villa are not used to it, they haven’t been relegated for 30 or 40 years.
“It’s all about giving the players back that confidence, that belief, that they’re still good players. For too long they’ve been hit with a stick, if you like.
“So the first thing was to just try and lift confidence levels and blow a bit of belief back into them.
“There were 4,500 fans there who hadn’t seen their team win an away game for 15 months. That was only Villa’s fifth win in something like 56 games, so to have a travelling support of nearly 5,000 people, it absolutely goes to show what this club is all about.
“It’s a fantastic football club, one of the big, great clubs of our country, and it’s been going in the wrong direction for too long.
“Of course it’s a challenge, but we’ve got to try and turn it around… halt the slide and turn it the other way.
“We’ve got to have hope, of course we have. We’re only six points off sixth place and who knows, if you get a big club like this into the play-offs you’ll give yourself a chance.”
Listen to Steve Bruce speaking to talkSPORT IN FULL above!