On the back of Aston Villa securing their Play-Off spot for 2017/18 with a 1-0 victory over Leeds United on Friday evening, manager Steve Bruce has once again been waxing lyrical about one man in particular.
Villa took victory on the evening with a goal in the 29th minute from Lewis Grabban as he headed home from a Jack Grealish delivery and although Bruce had praise for a number of players at the full-time whistle in the game, Grealish was the stand out given he’s hit form at just the right time for us.
????⚽️ Play-Off spot secured with 1-0 win over @LUFC
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) April 14, 2018
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the victory, Bruce explained that with key injuries to Jonathan Kodjia and John Terry in particular this season, Jack’s development and impact on games had certainly helped offset those ‘big set backs’.
“Where would we be if we’d been without him all season? But it’s a squad game and I owe a lot to someone like Keinan Davis, who’s not been involved for the last four weeks. It was only six months ago he came in and rattled Norwich and took the heat off me. I hope Jack still has plenty in the tank. He’s certainly got a spring in his step.”
With Jack the obvious one as a go-to for praise given his performances, especially of late as he has taken his season tally to three goals and five assists, it’s also good to see Bruce give Davis a namecheck for the way he filled in earlier in the season.
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish1) April 13, 2018
Having described Mile Jedinak as our ‘best player’ against Leeds as he filled in at centre-half again it’s an interesting selection dilemma Bruce now faces – particularly when it comes to our youngsters and getting a touch more experience into their legs.
Conceding that the players were tired on Friday night and ‘fatigue’ coming into his thoughts and comments, with more potentially riding on Derby and Millwall, Ipswich is probably the game to rest some players for – without making wholescale changes though as we still need to win that one.
Great stuff – Lewis grabs a goal, & #avfc all 3 points! I'm absolutely adamant that @JackGrealish1 should go to the #WorldCup2018 – better than any #EPL option @England have…name me a player who can take players on with more consistency & I will listen…#UTV #PartOfThePride
— Jon Hayes (@jonboy_avfc) April 13, 2018
But it could be the ideal time to see Davis come back into his thoughts, Andre Green depending on his fitness and then the likes of Callum O’Hare or Jake Doyle-Hayes and one or two other Under 23 lads. James Bree and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy are another two to factor in.
A win is a win but by Christ that was awful. Leeds were there for a beating tonight but negative Steve plays safe. Snodgrass beyond useless tonight carrying on from his last few performances. Would love to see O Hare in on the right for a game or 2
— Patrick McGrath (@PaddyVillain) April 13, 2018
Whether Bruce will twist in that direction or not remains to be seen, but I’d for one welcome it.
One man you certainly wouldn’t expect Bruce to change would be Sam Johnstone between the sticks, and Leeds United saw him pick up his 19th clean sheet for the season which is also worthy of a mention I find.