STEVE Bruce has revealed he used to travel to south London to watch Millwall when he was younger – as he warned his side to expect a "big physical challenge" from Saturday's opponents.
Bruce was a Gillingham player when he used to watch the Lions in the early 1980s, and he sees the same qualities in the current Millwall that he did in the side containing the likes of Keith Stevens, Barry Kitchener and now-Everton boss Sam Allardyce.
Bruce also remembers the demands of the Lions fans, and expects the same at Villa Park this weekend, with over 2,000 supporters in the away end.
"When I was at Gillingham I used to travel up to watch them on the train and have a little venture into London," Bruce told Birmingham Mail.
"Even back then, the supporters demanded that they play a certain way.
"It's always been like that. You can't have a tippy-tappy team if you play for Millwall.
"The crowd are always up and at you and if you're not that way inclined you won't play for Millwall.
"The team reflect their manager. He was right up there as a legend of the club.
"It's up to us to match them physically.
"They're east end of London so they take no nonsense. They demand their team are the same. Otherwise they won't play."
"I expect a big physical challenge."
Bruce is also an admirer of Lions boss Neil Harris and striker Steve Morison.
"Neil Harris has done a terrific job there," Bruce continued.
"They will put it forward and look for their forward, Morison, if he plays.
"And we know they will enjoy coming to Villa Park, so as always it's a tough game."
Image: Millwall FC