Date: 27th April 2018 at 3:31pm
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Aston Villa duo John Terry and Jonathan Kodjia are back in contention for this Saturday’s clash with Derby County at Villa Park.

The influential pair missed out on the Ipswich Town tie as a precaution. Terry has only recently returned from an ankle injury that saw him miss both Cardiff City and Leeds United and it was deemed the trip to Portman Road would come too quickly for him. Kodjia’s injury issues this year are well known and he felt sore in the run-up to Ipswich so was rested.

Both have been out on the training pitch this week and manager Steve Bruce has confirmed they come back into his thoughts.

Alan Hutton has also returned to training following several weeks out with a hamstring injury. A decision on his involvement this weekend hasn’t yet been made but you would guess it’ll come too quickly.

Birkir Bjarnason has been ruled out as he continues to struggle with a calf problem and Axel Tuanzebe remains sidelines with his hamstring issue.

With the Championship taking another twist with the midweek fixtures, Bruce admitted to the Official Site that although things are certainly getting interesting at the top, he still feels automatic promotion is still a step too far for us if he’s being realistic.

That doesn’t, however, stop him from wanting a ‘miracle’ but that’ll only happen if we continue to take care of our own results so that remains the focus.

“When you reach the end of the season and have something to play for, it’s never a bad thing, is it? If we can’t go up automatically, then the Play-Offs are a great spectacle to be involved in. And if you make it to the final, that’s something else. I’ve had the privilege to do it a couple of times, and it’s arguably the best way to do it. We’ve cemented our place, we’re playing well and have virtually everyone fit. It’s still all to play for.”

With Villa Park sold out for the tie, Bruce praised the fans for their backing once again this season and he repeated his hope that Villa can now give them ‘the ending they deserve’.

The attendance this weekend also confirmed our place at the top of the ‘best supported’ charts for 2017/18 and Bruce’s wasn’t at all surprised by that. He shouldn’t have been either, last season we came second to only Newcastle United.

With James Chester and Albert Adomah taking the Supporters’ and Players’ Player of the Year awards respectively, he was also full of praise for their consistency this term and with Keinan Davis taking Young Player of the Year, Bruce also again thanked him for stepping up in his ‘hour of need’ earlier in the season. He again picked out his performance against Norwich City for kick-starting our season properly.

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