Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has praised his players for their organised display against Middlesbrough, which saw the Midlanders advance to the Playoff final.

The Villains restricted Boro too just one shot on target over the two legs, and Bruce believes that his side deserved to advance over the course of the two games. 

Villa and Boro played out a 0-0 draw at Villa Park on Tuesday evening, but the Villains 1-0 win at The Riverside on saturday saw them qualify for the final.

Tony Pulis’ side failed to carve out any clear cut chances on the night, and Villa defended resolutely to secure the win.

Speaking to the club website, Bruce said “I’m delighted for everyone associated with the club – those who work for it and support it. Especially the latter, they make this a big club.

“They deserve it, and now we have to win.”

It was a tense atmosphere as Villa Park, as the home side looked to secure a route back to the Premier  League, after two seasons in the second tier.

“It’s always going to be a bit nervy, a bit tense. They always are when there’s so much at stake.” Bruce said.

“But overall, over the two legs, we’ve been the better side defensively over the two legs – they’ve only had one shot on target in the two games.

“We were really good, really organised.”

On the opposition in the final, the boss said “They’re a very good side. We know what to expect.” 

Villa play Fulham on the 26th May, where they will be aiming for a return to England’s top tier after relegation in 2016.


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