By Graham Hill
JOHN McGinn says he still has respect for Steve Bruce – the man who took him to Villa Park.
McGinn faces up to his former boss Bruce at Hillsborough when Villa go to Sheffield Wednesday.
It was Bruce who signed Scotland midfielder McGinn for a knockdown £2.75million last summer when Villa beat Celtic to do a deal with Hibernian.
Since then, McGinn has proved a revelation and is up there with Jack Grealish as one of Villa’s most influential players.
And while McGinn says he owes Bruce for taking him south of the border – the Wednesday clash is all about trying to secure Villa’s sixth successive Championship win and maintaining their play-off bid.
McGinn told the Daily Star: “It’ll be strange. I’ve got a lot of time for Steve Bruce.
“He brought me to the club and he is a manager I’ve got a lot of respect for.
“He was fantastic with me in the time he was here and Sheffield Wednesday are on a brilliant run, so we are under no illusions about how difficult it is going to be.
“If we play at our best, hopefully we will get three points. Is there any more motivation? Not at all. We need to treat it the way we’ve been treating all the games.
“You can see the confidence flowing through all the players. We’re all at the top of our game. Hopefully it can continue and we can sneak into the play-offs.”
Bruce has been publicly defending his time at Villa Park in the build up to the game.
The ex-Villa boss said: “Whatever criticism is thrown at me, I can back it up. The big thing that disappointed me all of a sudden was this thing about the style of play being linked into it.
“In 2018 we were the second top goalscorers behind only Man City so it was disappointing to hear that.
“Whether it hurts or it was unjust, it’s happened. The one thing we all cry for is time.
“And when you look back overall, we won a lot of the games so you hope for time. But it’s done and dusted and you move on.”