Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Bruce: Villa were a mess after relegation

Bruce: Villa were a mess after relegation

Villa is hoping to return to the Premier League after a two-year absence.

It proved a hugely demoralising moment for Boro, whose supporters with long memories will recall how a last-gasp home goal from Villa's Stuart Gray effectively relegated the Teesside club from the top flight in 1989.

Grealish was 19 years old and about to become most-wanted in an worldwide tussle between England and the Republic of Ireland.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce admits he inherited a club in a "mess" after taking them to the Sky Bet Championship play-off final. In the 87th minute, as Middlesbrough were pouring forward in search of an equaliser, Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone appeared to step out of his penalty area and make a save with his hands in an illegal position. He made too many front pages. Now Terry is a Villa colleague with Bruce saying the 37-year-old defender has helped neutralise a "toxic" dressing room.

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Mile Jedinak celebrates after scoring for Aston Villa. "Not really", he said. The league game at Villa was drawn. "Another clean sheet and a great night", Terry said.

With Middlesbrough confirmed to be staying in the Championship next season, there will be two Tony Pulis derbies in 2018/19 - providing the Welshman stays at Boro.

Only champions Wolverhampton Wanderers and runners-up Cardiff City have conceded fewer goals than Aston Villa in the Championship this season, with both conceding 39 in 46 games. The issue is also what to do with Adama and the severe man marking he will be encountered with again at Villa Park. Grealish concluded: "Hopefully we can go into it with a winning mentality and get through to Wembley".

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