Date: 13th April 2018 at 7:23am
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Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has been looking ahead to tonight’s clash with Leeds United at Villa Park.

A big part of his pre game press conference was obviously victory over Cardiff City in midweek and I’ll take any opportunity available to show this again.

Speaking to the Official Site about Jack Grealish’s effort, Bruce explained.

“It’s about time. We joke with him about it a lot. It’s his third of the season and two in two for him. It was a great goal and let’s hope that continues. We all know he’s a Villa fan. When something like that happens then it’s great for him. He’s maturing well and people forget he’s only 22. It’s quite remarkable.”

The game itself clearly kept slim hopes of automatic promotion alive but our fate is in the hands of both Cardiff and Fulham as Wolves look set to tie up their automatic spot this weekend depending on results elsewhere.

Bruce acknowledged that.

“We needed a response. It sets us up nicely for Leeds. Can we now go and take advantage? The games are coming thick and fast.”

We’ll know later tonight but just as we know this side are capable of going on an unbeaten run, we are also keenly aware that they are capable of massive disappointments.

Let’s hope tonight isn’t one of those!

One other man stood out for praise as Bruce looked back to Cardiff though, a certain James Bree who wasn’t even in the match day squad at first, yet he more than put in an assured performance.

“You’re only as good as your squad, and so is a manager. James had to strip to play and within half an hour he was on the pitch. It shows what can happen, and he adapted very well. He’s had to be a little bit patient. He was only 19 when we bought him and always knew he was one for the future. We’ve got a lot of good young players here at the moment and James is one of those. It’s great for the future of the club.”

With the Under 23s doing well this year and Bree more than capably coming into the squad, hopefully our Play-Off position can become safe and we can see a little more of them during the run in. Young players need games and the opportunity to learn from mistakes and I’d say a few of them have earned their shot.

It’s a shame the seniors have let us down on occasions as we should’ve already seen a bit more of them.

As for injury news, Birkir Bjarnason will be assessed today having picked up a back problem but he should be in contention having withdrawn during the warm up to Cardiff.

Alan Hutton will return to training if all goes well at the back end of next week having picked up a hamstring issue, and John Terry remains missing having injured his ankle against Norwich.

An ankle problem will sideline Axel Tuanzebe as well for this one.

 

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