Manager Steve Bruce held his pre Brentford press conference on Friday and Aston Villa have some good news on the injury front.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media for his pre game press conference, Bruce knew it was a tough month for us but with him believing the international break had come at the wrong time, he was looking for us to continue the momentum we built up at the end of August.
‘To be fair, the break came at the wrong time for us if I`m being brutally honest. When you have had a good week like we had, you want it to continue, of course. The one thing you want now is for everyone to come back fit and healthy from international duty. Thankfully, from what I have been told, everyone has come back fine. We have a fit and healthy squad – and I think it`s the first time in my 10 months here that I have a full squad. Jedinak and Kodjia aren`t quite there just yet but they are there or thereabouts which is good news for everybody.’
As for the fixtures we face across the month of September, Bruce went on to say.
‘They are all big months but I do get your drift. We have five of our seven games at home. It`s an opportunity now to make up for what has been an average start. But, when you analyse the first few games, we were disappointing in half a match at Cardiff. Apart from that, we have done okay. We had a good week leading up to the international break. It`s important now, in September, to try and get where we want to be. That`s obviously got to be the aim.’
With rumblings amongst the fanbase given our start, with improving performances and results Bruce was quick to acknowledge the fans for backing the team.
‘The support has been superb – especially the last home game against Norwich – where they cheered us on from the very first minute. Since I have been here, our form has stacked up at home. We have been very decent at home. It`s our away form that we have to address. At home, especially in our last two games, we have done very, very well. The supporters will get behind the team, no doubt, but we have to give them something to shout about. But I think, over the last few weeks in particular, they have been very happy with what they`ve seen at home.’
With Robert Snodgrass arriving late on in the window, the gaffer said of him.
‘He`s someone I have worked with in the past – he`s a very, very good footballer. I will have a conversation with him today because he hasn`t really played all season. I could have done with him getting a game for Scotland. That didn`t happen. In terms of fitness levels, I will ask him where he`s at. But he`s an excellent signing for us and someone that will give us a little bit more, especially in the attacking third. His set-piece is second to none and we`re delighted he`s here.’
As for the positive injury news, Bruce went on to confirm that Mile Jedinak was ‘near’ and Jonathan Kodjia has also been training all week.
‘Hutton and Samba are fine. Jedinak is nearly there in that he`s trained for the last two weeks. Typical Jedinak, he wants to be involved straight away. Kodjia has trained all week and I am probably looking for him to play 45 minutes on Monday night. If he comes through that, he will be available for the Tuesday. That could be an option. We are very close to having a fully fit squad to choose from.’
With Kodjia set for an Under 23 run out, Bruce was pressed on his importance to us and the answer there writes itself really.
‘He scored almost 20 goals last time out so, of course, we welcome him back. It was a freak accident what happened to him up at Blackburn. We know what Jimmy is capable of. We are delighted he`s back – it`s like a new signing.’
Whilst Jedinak is ahead of Kodjia, Bruce admitted that he could come into his thoughts for Tuesday’s game if he comes through the U23 tie without problems.
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