Former Manchester United captain now turned coach, the boss of Newcastle United, Steve Bruce had the most unpalatable afternoon on his return to Aston Villa to try and better Newcastle’s chances of staying in the Premier League and achieving something worthwhile in the process.

Aston Villa were on a 3-game run of successive defeats and Newcastle more than hoped to take home the three points when they visited on Saturday. Two quick fire goals from Hourihane and El Ghazi however ensured Steve Bruce’s men were going to go home empty handed.

Bruce was sacked by Aston Villa last year and just like his stint at Hull City has proved, becoming an elite coach, even if not at the very top, like Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce seems to continually evade him. Like he does not have what it takes to really make such leap.

Even at that, getting back at them, like Jose Mourinho hopes to do when Tottenham meets Manchester United in December, would have been more than satisfying. In taking three points away from Villa, Bruce would have ensured his team climbed further up the Premier League table while his former team sank.

Instead, they remain separated by just one point with Aston Villa sitting on Newcastle.Aston Villa will be more than grateful, ending their depressing losing streak of matches at the hands of the man who they once hired to make sure they didn’t have to be in such position in the first place. It is almost like running into your barren ex just to realize they are still barren while your partner just put to bed.

Steve Bruce will continue to hope that Newcastle’s current fortune can turn around and just maybe that might be enough to reclaim some of his glory when it comes to coaching as opposed to playing.