Aston Villa head to Portman Road to face Ipswich Town this weekend, but it won’t be a Mick McCarthy v Steve Bruce battle this time.
Having parted company with Mad Mick despite all he did for them on a shoestring budget over the past few years, what kind of Tractor Boys we’ll face this Saturday is beyond me but that doesn’t matter I’m not the manager.
Steve Bruce has now held his pre game press conference and if you want to read it in full then use your mouse to – Click Here.
On the injury front, we could potentially welcome back John Terry but the gaffer will be making a late decision on him after he missed the last two matches with an ankle problem. Jonathan Kodjia is feeling sore after his recent involvement following his time on the sidelines so he won’t be travelling but the issue isn’t believed to be serious.
Scottish Cafu looking good as new
— Lewis Griffiths (@LewisGriffo101) April 20, 2018
Alan Hutton is set for a return to training on Monday following his hamstring complaint and Axel Tuanzebe has been ruled out with a hamstring issue of his own. The Manchester United youngster does look set to miss the rest of the regular season.
Fitness wise the watchword for Bruce was clearly ‘risk’.
“We can’t go risking people at this particular stage, especially if the bookies are right and we’re in the play-offs.”
No complaints from me about being cautious at this stage of the season and I’m far from alone.
Save him for the play offs and save kodjia
— Adam AVFC (@adpage87) April 20, 2018
Leave the bloke at home we've had two cleans in a row anyway. Wrap him in cotton wool
— Blainey Football (@coombes24) April 20, 2018
So to Ipswich. The gaffer explained that on the back of successive wins last week training had been enjoyable and productive. We’d also had time to recover following a run of five games in two weeks. With a small fixture break, Bruce also pointed to the fact that training had seen us go over a few things from those matches as there hadn’t been chance to previously with the games coming thick and fast. Fingers crossed our preparation for this one is spot on and we can keep slim automatic promotion hopes alive.
“Back-to-back wins and clean sheets was just what the doctor ordered. And it keeps us there. It would have been very interesting had Cardiff not got the late win last week. But there’s another round of games this weekend and we’re still in the mix. Let’s enjoy that and relish the challenge.”
DeanoVilla posted in the Ipswich Forum Thread:
“In terms of entertainment, the ideal scenario would be for us to win and Fulham and Cardiff to lose. That would make it one point separating the three of us with two games to go.”
Admittedly in that scenario, Cardiff still hold a game in hand, but the thought of that hadn’t eluded Bruce it seems as although he wouldn’t go as far as saying the pressure was off us, we’re Aston Villa there’s always pressure, he knew we’d put the pressure back on them so we should just enjoy it really and look to keep that pressure on until it’s mathematically impossible.
Focus on second place and the Play-Offs will take care of themselves.