Steve Bruce reaping benefits of Aston Villa 'big player' policy

Live Stream Score Commentary of Championship Play-Off Semi Final between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough

Live Stream Score Commentary of Championship Play-Off Semi Final between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough

Bruce's Aston Villa are heading to Wembley later this month for the £200m shootout with Fulham after a night of excruciating tension in the west Midlands.

Comfortable on the back foot, the Villans were happy to sit back and soak up whatever pressure Boro could put on them, safe in the knowledge that their rearguard would prevail.

The hosts again went close in the 39th minute as James Chester got on the end of Lewis Grabban's header before pulling his effort wide of the mark.

The young winger needs to start taking games by the scruff of their necks if he is to prove himself worthy of the big-name links.

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff were promoted automatically from the League Championship.

But Fulham will have another chance to return to the top flight in the play-off final, after beating Derby 2-1 over two legs in the play-off semi final.

Furthermore, Villa have only lost one of their past 10 home games in the Championship and manager Steve Bruce has an impressive record at this stage of the season, with the Villa boss losing just one of his past seven play-off games (winning four and drawing two).

If Grealish maintains his form tonight, it should push Villa over the line to Wembley, where his career had its lift-off moment in the 2015 FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. "That'd be like celebrating at half-time in a league game". After the tension came the overwhelming relief and unbridled joy for Aston Villa.

Villa fans will be hoping this year's trip won't go the same way, because they were humbled 4-0 that time, barely putting up a fight.

Terry says Bruce deserves credit for how he set his Aston Villa team up tonight but he has warned his team-mates they still have one more job to do.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.