Date: 10th July 2018 at 10:00am
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In manager Steve Bruce’s interviews this week with Aston Villa out on pre-season training in Portugal, it wasn’t just his thoughts and rallying cry about the financial issues we face and the fact that we need to sell players this summer to make up for previous mistakes at Boardroom level that got a decent airing.

He also spoke about our current injury situation as we go through pre-season with a cloud hanging over our heads and plenty of uncertainty on when sales will happen, whether we can strengthen and see some arrivals and new faces of our own or even if we can make next months bills.

Stating that his skills as a manager would now really be tested because the ambition of the club to gain promotion doesn’t change despite our off-pitch issues, he knows fans still expect us to mount a challenge even if it’s now going to be more difficult, so he needs to try and find gems in the market to ensure that happens.

To achieve that it’ll take a change of focus from him in the transfer market but you would think James Bree might take a bit of confidence from the statement as Bruce punted on him, just as he did the above three names. It also means a pivot to the younger players and that should give them a confidence shot as well so we’ll have to hope that with injury news, three such youngsters aren’t sidelined for too long.

Having confirmed that Scott Hogan has remained behind with a groin injury that he’s had all summer, Bruce went on to confirm that Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Harry McKirdy and Mitch Clark have all travelled back for x-rays and scans of their own.

RHM and McKirdy have twisted their ankles but he only confirmed Clark had picked up an injury.

They aren’t the only youngsters that will be on fans’ lists to step up next year, but all three would feature for most, so we have to hope this is more precautionary and no-one is sidelined for too long as we need options.

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