Middlesbrough 0 Aston Villa 1: Jedinak gives Bruce's men advantage

Steve Bruce explains how a change in Aston Villa's recruitment policy is helping them in the play-offs

Aston Villa are now preparing for tonight's huge game at home to Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi Final second Leg. Villa won the first leg 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium thanks to Mile Jedinak's early header, giving them a massive advantage ahead of the second leg at Villa Park.

Aston Villa players celebrate a win.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough's Daniel Ayala came off in the second half on Saturday with a knee injury and misses out, so Tony Pulis has opted to start the young Dael Fry in defence in his stead.

The Villains have managed to take a valuable 1-0 lead back to Villa Park for the second leg, thanks to a Mile Jedinak glancing header.

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It's going to be hard but I think that's something we can deal with. "So it's really hard to stay focused, and he is focused". If you look at the two most hard away games at the moment, due to the way they play, are Manchester City and Liverpool .

"We've given ourselves a good chance".

The clubs will pay tribute to former Aston Villa defender Jlloyd Samuel, who sadly passed away at the age of 37 following a vehicle crash in Cheshire this morning.

Boro created few clear-cut chances but nearly levelled the tie late on when Stewart Downing's 89th-minute free kick from just outside the penalty area rattled the crossbar.

"The teams that have finished third and fourth over a season have got to Wembley and that's justification, if anything", Pulis told Sky Sports.

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ASTON Villa boss Steve Bruce backed his players to handle the occasion as they bid to keep their promotion hopes alive tonight.

Aston Villa and Middlesbrough face off later in the day in the return leg of the play-off semi-final.

"It was agony towards the end, if I'm being honest". "We're going to Wembley, let's enjoy it".

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