Well here we are. Are we going to be disappointed? Angry? Happy? On the beer (or Ouzo)?

Time will tell. I think we need to play on the front foot and try to end it in the first leg. We should have enough fire power, do we have the desire?

Brucey and the back of house, over to you!

COME  ON VILLLLLLAAAA!!

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Think we're the "strongest" team in the playoffs, but unfortunately the total is less than the sum of the parts. We'll find it difficult putting in the performances needed over three matches.

If we lose the first leg I think we're sunk. There are strong arguments for playing it tight. Trouble with that is if we go a goal down we'll struggle to get back to par. So I think we need to apply pressure, hope we're sharp up front, while hoping the defence can cope with anything Middlesbrough can throw at us.

If we get to the final I think we have a good chance of going through. If.

We have had the 'strongest' squad in the league for nearly all of the season ?

It did not really matter did it ? when you are only as strong as your weakest link ?

Who do think that is ?

I will be pleased to watch em get promoted cos it means they are winning & I can sink a few

BUT - for me it means another disappointing season watching us perform with a manager that is not good enough to either spend money wisely or able to manage in the EPL ! he really has struggled in EFL ! But to be fair his old hat tactics have worked in the past to get teams promoted - then failed miserably - do you think he can improve on that sorry statistic ?

I sincerely hope that we get promoted because the alternative is oblivion just another once famous name in the lower reaches.

If we get promoted he must be sacked and sentimental tosh about give him a chance is rubbish. He has Hogan always on the bench £12m. He has McCormack not even close to the bench £12M Ok he didn't sign McC but he never utilised him either. I don't trust him to sign expensive players in the Premier he will just go back to players he once had at Hull or wherever.

If we get there (oh please) we need a clear out but then how many times have we said that?

Pulis is nobodies fool and he would love to get one over on Villa, did we upset him by not appointing him as manager at some point he seems to hate us with a passion.

I have no idea how it will work out so can only hope.

JDHS -  Non promotion will guarantee that this club wiil move forward without the constraints of a failed manager - yes funds will be dimished even further but we have an under 23 team which is the envy of most ! A new approach to management will see this club again achieve its rightfull position in UK football - not champions but at least up there ! 

In principle I agree. Bruce may have been "good enough" once, but football moves on. On paper our points total looks good, but with the players we have it should. We keep on failing to put in the performances we should, even when we win. There have been very, very few performances this year where we've put in the performances we should be capable of. And after every one of such performances, we have a slump, either losing, or just scraping a win where we should win comfortably. I think the coaching isn't as good as it should be, partly because Bruce doesn't do tactics, and the lack of tactics also affects what we see on the field.

Whether the powers that be agree is another thing. I haven't the faintest. They may decide things are "comfortable" as they are and may not risk affecting the positives by change.

Or they may look at where we're going in the coming season and decide that they need a more positive hand on the tiller. I think they do, but I suspect nobody knows what view they will come to.

Me, I think it's time Villa ditched any sentimentality and looked at things with a hard dose of reality. We can stand another season in the Championship, but if it's a misfiring one then then it impact on the club and the players we have will be massive.

Here it is, the first Villa game where I feel excited/nervous at the same time for many years.

I keep seeing a 3-0 scoreline in my mind, I just hope it is not to Boro!!

As for Bruce, yes he is a dinosaur. But he was unlucky with injuries this season. Imagine if Grealish and Kodjia had been fit and firing all season, most likely we would have been top 2.

I feel for Bruce as well losing both parents recently, lets hope the players rally around and do it for the boss.

I say once again, if we do secure promotion, I think it unlikely that Bruce is let go, whether we want it or not. So let's just get behind the team and cheer them on to better things.

The match kicks off at 11.15 pm for me and live on Thai tv, go figure!!

some people have such short memories on here its frightening.

The facts are we were 5 years in decline even Sunderland looked better than us.

we were rock bottom on the field with a complete shower running things thus relegation.

In came a new owner with big ideas, a big gob and supposedly loads of cash to spend, juries still out on that as its the Para shoot cash that has been spent thus far. He hyped us up like we would walk the championship, which sucked us all in to fever pitch.

First season we were made favourites to go up because we spent a few bob on building a half decent squad to replace one of the worst squads in our history.

That squad took time to gel with the result of another coach gone with us near the bottom of the table we were supposed to walk.

In came Bruce to steady a still very nervous club with players still getting used to the pressure and exportations of villa fans who still believed we were a prem club. Other fans are right about us living in the past.

It took time to sort out a back line but he got it working. The midfield got stronger and more confident with a front man that had a scoring streak we had missed since Angel. We were climbing up the table with a style of football that we knew Bruce would play. Sadly we fell away but felt confident that the club was now being steered away from the rocks we had smashed into.

This season we were again expected to romp the league because we are Aston Villa even after spending no cash due to the fair play rule.

Most fans would of taken a play off spot if asked, not on here though.

We have played great football, average football, piss poor football but have hung around at the right end of the table all season.

We have had the worst run of injuries to any of the top teams but were still battling away, yes Bruce plays horrible football but he made us hard to beat.

That considering we had to rebuild a squad from shit, that didn't care, to a team that could battle again a give us a feel good factor again. Hats off to Bruce for that.

sadly we fell short of auto promotion because of 3 games after the wolves game, a wolves team that have been full of international champs league experienced players and quality all season.

we have no right to be in the top 2 as some believe, we have to earn that as Wolves and Cardiff have all season, they were above us all season for a reason.

As I said after the years we have had, to bounce back with in a couple of seasons is thanks to Bruce.

We are in with a chance to go up, a second chance if you like but we deserve it as the 4th best team in the league with a team that might not play well or a coach that plays flash football like Fulham, oh yes they didn't make promotion either, but at least we have a shot.

I hope,  prey we do go up because we are going to need a defensive coach like Bruce, to have any chance of staying up. Who knows this owner might have to spend cash that he hasn't done yet or will it be all talk.

I don't go to games like most it seems on here but I have seen all on live Tv here,

yes we have opinions  but some talk absolute shite on here, many who don't even go or watch the games.

 

Get some rest today Brissie, it will be a late night/early morning for you!!

You make some good points Brisbane BUT I for one am fed up with mediocrity, to continue with Bruce either way would be a big mistake he must go. He cannot be trusted to develop a premier team.

i am completely fed up watching the same old crap as you said losing three games after a great win against Wolves was a disgrace but illustrates his level of management.

up the Villa for tonight got everything crossed.

brisbane - bit unfair to some people. Yes, the club needed sorting out but Xia, Wyness and Round have done a good job. The initial batch of new players we had that summer were mainly good ones, a good start on revamping the team. They probably were a bit too quick to fire Di Matteo, who was still getting the signings to gel. In contrast, Bruce has had 82 matches to get it right and we still misfire, and of the signings he bought in his first transfer window hardly any of them are first choice.

We haven't sorted out the midfield, which is one of our problems. We rarely control that area and there's too big a gap between defence and attack. Bjarnason is one of the few players who can defend but also provide something going forwards; he may not be the greatest but he's the only player of that type we have, yet Bruce is reluctant to play him. Grealish has to drop too deep to get the ball. In the front line we have a range of players, yet none of them has really nailed his position.

I may be wrong; I can't see how the club sees it. They may decide Bruce is worth keeping. If so I'll go with it, but without a lot of optimism.

Anyway, I'm about to watch the U23s in their playoff final!

 brisbane lion --     I have read a load of crap on here over the last few years but that just about takes the biscuit !

No surprises in the line up:

Johnstone Elmo Chester Terry Hutton

Snoddy Jedinak Hourihane Adomah

Grealish Grabban

Bench:

Bunn Samba Whelan Hogan Barney Onomah Kodjia

Surprised no Lansbury.

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