Aston Villa

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Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Slavisa Jokanovic: Fulham will target John Terry in play-off final
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Slavisa Jokanovic: Fulham will target John Terry in play-off final
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Slavisa Jokanovic: Fulham will target John Terry in play-off final
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial disaster if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Welcome to the English Football League revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Welcome to the English Football League revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Welcome to the English Football League revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Aston Villa v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Villa Park
The priceless moment a young Villa fan discovered he’ll be a Wembley mascot
Aston Villa v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Villa Park
Ryan Sessegnon is set to feature for Fulham in Saturday’s Championship play-off final against Aston Villa at Wembley.
Ryan Sessegnon’s washday feat shows news cycle is spinning out of control
Ryan Sessegnon is set to feature for Fulham in Saturday’s Championship play-off final against Aston Villa at Wembley.
What is it? The so-called 'richest game in football.' Aston Villa and Fulham meet at Wembley to decide who will become the third and final Championship team to be promoted to the Premier League. When is it? Saturday May 26: a tasty appetiser before the main course of the Champions League final later that evening. What time is kick off? 5pm. What TV channel is it on? You can watch the game live on Sky Sport Football or Sky Sports Main Event. What's the team news? Ahmed Elmohamady is Aston Villa's only injury doubt going into the final. The full-back injured his hamstring during Aston Villa's semi-final first leg against Middlesbrough and manager Steve Bruce admits he faces a race against time to be fit for Wembley on Saturday. "The next 24-48 hours are crucial. He's trained for the past two days. He could be in contention," said Bruce. "We'll make a decision on Friday." Fulham also have no new injury concerns after their semi-final triumph over Derby County. Ryan Sessegnon boy wonder What are they saying? Steve Bruce on taking Villa back to the top flight Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images I've waited 20 years to work at a club like this. We're the fifth most successful club in England. On 26th May 1982 we won the European Cup. That's the expectation of this club. I'm at a great club, a big club that needs to be in the Premier League. To manage here has been an absolute pleasure. It's a great place with a lot of good people working at it. It hasn't let me down at all. I've enjoyed being associated with Aston Villa ever since I arrived. "My hope now is that I can get it moving even more in the right direction and make it even bigger. Let's get it up, build again for next season and take it to where it needs to be. Let's hope this is the start of a new beginning for us – in the Premier League. Slavisa Jokanovic on targeting John Terry Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted Fulham will look to target John Terry Credit: Reuters We are going to try to put against him some fast and some stronger players. I hope he will make some mistakes. This is the kind of impact I expect from his side. All of us can make mistakes. I expect some mistakes from his side and that’s it. When you talk about experience, you are talking about the past Terry is a fantastic player, Chester is a fantastic player. They have experience playing in this stadium. But probably they cannot be in their best level right now. We are the youngest team, the team with more energy. We believe in our style. We believe we can dominate the situation. Experience in life is important but it is not everything. What are the betting odds? Aston Villa 5/4 Fulham 8/11 Prediction The pressure will be firmly on Aston Villa as they bid to justify the huge outlay they have made on transfers in recent seasons. Expect a youthful Fulham side to capitalise on their opponents' nervousness. Score: Fulham 3-1 Aston Villa
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
What is it? The so-called 'richest game in football.' Aston Villa and Fulham meet at Wembley to decide who will become the third and final Championship team to be promoted to the Premier League. When is it? Saturday May 26: a tasty appetiser before the main course of the Champions League final later that evening. What time is kick off? 5pm. What TV channel is it on? You can watch the game live on Sky Sport Football or Sky Sports Main Event. What's the team news? Ahmed Elmohamady is Aston Villa's only injury doubt going into the final. The full-back injured his hamstring during Aston Villa's semi-final first leg against Middlesbrough and manager Steve Bruce admits he faces a race against time to be fit for Wembley on Saturday. "The next 24-48 hours are crucial. He's trained for the past two days. He could be in contention," said Bruce. "We'll make a decision on Friday." Fulham also have no new injury concerns after their semi-final triumph over Derby County. Ryan Sessegnon boy wonder What are they saying? Steve Bruce on taking Villa back to the top flight Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images I've waited 20 years to work at a club like this. We're the fifth most successful club in England. On 26th May 1982 we won the European Cup. That's the expectation of this club. I'm at a great club, a big club that needs to be in the Premier League. To manage here has been an absolute pleasure. It's a great place with a lot of good people working at it. It hasn't let me down at all. I've enjoyed being associated with Aston Villa ever since I arrived. "My hope now is that I can get it moving even more in the right direction and make it even bigger. Let's get it up, build again for next season and take it to where it needs to be. Let's hope this is the start of a new beginning for us – in the Premier League. Slavisa Jokanovic on targeting John Terry Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted Fulham will look to target John Terry Credit: Reuters We are going to try to put against him some fast and some stronger players. I hope he will make some mistakes. This is the kind of impact I expect from his side. All of us can make mistakes. I expect some mistakes from his side and that’s it. When you talk about experience, you are talking about the past Terry is a fantastic player, Chester is a fantastic player. They have experience playing in this stadium. But probably they cannot be in their best level right now. We are the youngest team, the team with more energy. We believe in our style. We believe we can dominate the situation. Experience in life is important but it is not everything. What are the betting odds? Aston Villa 5/4 Fulham 8/11 Prediction The pressure will be firmly on Aston Villa as they bid to justify the huge outlay they have made on transfers in recent seasons. Expect a youthful Fulham side to capitalise on their opponents' nervousness. Score: Fulham 3-1 Aston Villa
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
Aston Villa vs Fulham: How much does the Championship play-off final winner really stand to make?
Aston Villa vs Fulham: How much does the Championship play-off final winner really stand to make?
Aston Villa vs Fulham: How much does the Championship play-off final winner really stand to make?
Aston Villa vs Fulham LIVE latest score: Championship Play-Off Final 2018 goal updates, TV and how to follow online, team news and line-ups at Wembley
Aston Villa vs Fulham LIVE latest score: Championship Play-Off Final 2018 goal updates, TV and how to follow online, team news and line-ups at Wembley
Aston Villa vs Fulham LIVE latest score: Championship Play-Off Final 2018 goal updates, TV and how to follow online, team news and line-ups at Wembley
Aston Villa vs Fulham LIVE latest score: Championship Play-Off Final 2018 goal updates, TV and how to follow online, team news and line-ups at Wembley
Aston Villa vs Fulham LIVE latest score: Championship Play-Off Final 2018 goal updates, TV and how to follow online, team news and line-ups at Wembley
Aston Villa vs Fulham LIVE latest score: Championship Play-Off Final 2018 goal updates, TV and how to follow online, team news and line-ups at Wembley
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham - LIVE: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship play-off final, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time does it start, what channel is it on, how can I watch?
Championship Play-Off Final 2018 live: TV time and coverage for Aston Villa vs Fulham
Championship Play-Off Final 2018 live: TV time and coverage for Aston Villa vs Fulham
Championship Play-Off Final 2018 live: TV time and coverage for Aston Villa vs Fulham
Championship Play-Off Final 2018 live: TV time and coverage for Aston Villa vs Fulham
Championship Play-Off Final 2018 live: TV time and coverage for Aston Villa vs Fulham
Championship Play-Off Final 2018 live: TV time and coverage for Aston Villa vs Fulham
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Welcome to the English Football League revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce seeks solace on pitch after torrid few months
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. Championship play-off final live: Aston Villa vs Fulham With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. Championship play-off final live: Aston Villa vs Fulham With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Slavisa Jokanovic: Fulham will target John Terry in play-off final
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Slavisa Jokanovic: Fulham will target John Terry in play-off final
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. Championship play-off final live: Aston Villa vs Fulham With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. Championship play-off final live: Aston Villa vs Fulham With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. Championship play-off final live: Aston Villa vs Fulham With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. Championship play-off final live: Aston Villa vs Fulham With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Slavisa Jokanovic: Fulham will target John Terry in play-off final
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham manager, has vowed to deploy his “best weapons” against Aston Villa as he looks to target 37-year-old John Terry in Saturday’s Championship play-off final. Jokanovic hopes his young forwards will be able to exhaust Terry and defensive partner James Chester in a game in which Fulham expect to dominate possession. The Fulham manager fielded an energetic front three of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Aboubakar Kamara, none of whom are older than 23, in their 2-0 semi-final victory over Derby County last week. “If you don’t make them tired, it will be easy for them,” said Jokanovic of Villa’s experienced defensive pairing. “I will try to use my best weapons at the end, the game can be long. And I am going to be ready on the bench too for what can be interesting situations.” The powerful Mitrovic, whose loan move from Newcastle United ends after this game, has scored 12 goals since joining Fulham at the end of the January transfer window. “He [Mitrovic] is a strong man and probably we need to make Terry move a little bit more, to stop him having the opportunity to use all his experience,” said Jokanovic, who played with Terry at Chelsea in the early 2000s. “It is going to be a great challenge. A Premier League striker against two Premier League centre-backs.” Jokanovic wants to make Aston Villa's defenders 'tired' Credit: PA Fulham have become known for their attractive brand of football under Jokanovic, but the 49-year-old insisted his side is capable of “parking the bus” if required. “We trust if we follow the style we have followed for these two years, we will be more close to winning the game,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a question about aesthetics. It is not a question of showing how we play very good football. We know it is only important to win the game. “My team will try to perform well and try to find our style to have more opportunity to win the game. If we need for the last 15 minutes to park the bus on the 18-yard box, we are going to do it. But we cannot do it at the beginning because this way cannot guarantee us to be successful. “I believe that if we are confident for doing what we do always, we are going to have more chances to win the game.” Fulham have young, vibrant attackers Credit: pa The winner of the the final, which has been dubbed ‘the richest game in football’, will receive at least £160m in revenue following promotion to the Premier League. For Fulham, there is also the question of what will happen to the club if they do not achieve promotion this time around. They will no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League next season and are likely to lose a series of key figures if they remain in the Championship. Captain Tom Cairney has interested a number of Premier League clubs and teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon would command a hefty transfer fee. There is also unease over the future of Jokanovic, who could be targeted by a top-flight club in the summer. Jokanovic gained promotion with Watford in 2015 but left the club before he had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. “I have more connection with this club than with Watford,” he said. “These are memories, and it is behind me. I was really happy there and now I must continue to live my life and push myself and people around me to be successful.”
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. Championship play-off final live: Aston Villa vs Fulham With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Aston Villa facing financial nightmare if they fail to make Premier League
Aston Villa will head into the “life-changing” £170m shoot-out with Fulham facing the prospect of a financial nightmare if they fail in their promotion mission. Villa’s cash worries will be removed with victory at Wembley tomorrow, but defeat will see them under pressure to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and being hit with a possible transfer embargo. Championship play-off final live: Aston Villa vs Fulham With the stakes so high, it is arguably Villa’s biggest game since the 1982 European Cup Final. Steve Bruce, the manager, is acutely aware of the doomsday scenario. Captain John Terry would be expected to leave, while deals to permanently sign loan players Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Lewis Grabban will be scrapped. The futures of stars including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia will inevitably be plunged into doubt and it is understood that Villa may even have to consider selling their Recon Training Complex, if they fall short in the Championship play-off final. Mile Jedinak, the Australian international, has admitted the game is crucial to the club’s future. John Terry would likely leave Villa if they were not promoted Credit: Reuters “We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation. We are doing the right thing and making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “The game on Saturday is life-changing. You all know what Premier League football comes with and the reward of that. “It is a crossroads moment. It can go one of two ways: that’s what you’re dealing with. Some don’t take the time to think about it and that’s up to them. I can’t speak for everybody but that motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can. Is this game pivotal to Villa’s future? Oh yes, that goes without saying.” Tomorrow’s game is widely agreed to be the most valuable in world football and years of cost-cutting will be over for Villa if they emerge as winners. Bruce only spent £2.5million last summer, while raising £18million from player sales to ease a mammoth wage bill. He admits next season’s team will be “totally different”, if Fulham win. As one of Bruce’s most senior players, Jedinak will be crucial this weekend and has previous experience of the play-offs after winning promotion with Crystal Palace five years ago. Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images The 33-year-old has also triumphed in the face of incredible pressure, after scoring two penalties in Australia’s play-off victory over Honduras last year which clinched a place at the World Cup. “There’s pressure everywhere. I’ve done it in a World Cup where it’s 1-1 and you need to score to go 2-1 up against a Holland team that went on to make the semi-finals,” he said. “At that point in time with the Honduras penalty there were three or four players trying to kick the ball away and step on the mark. “The referee finally got everyone away and then it’s you, the ball, the goalie and where it’s going to go. You stay focused. There’s no secret. You have to stay focused and disciplined. “You get to that point through experience and having learned the hard way and had setbacks through your whole career, not just now when everyone sees it’s good.” Villa will end a two-year absence from the Premier League if they find a way past Slavisa Jokanovic’s entertainers, who are the favourites. A £4million signing from Palace in 2016, Jedinak said: “When I came to this club all I was thinking about was getting this club back. I want to be a part of that, hopefully for many more years to come. “There have been stumbles along the way and steps to get us there and we’ve been given this massive opportunity and it’s up to us now. “I’m glad I’m part of that to make sure that we see the job through. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.” Central to Villa’s hopes of a Wembley triumph will be homegrown talent Grealish, who has proven one of the Championship’s best performers this season. Grealish’s influence in the final weeks of the league campaign was crucial, with a winning goal against Cardiff in April reviving Villa’s previously flagging play-off bid. Jack Grealish has been pivotal for Villa this campaign Credit: getty images Bruce is backing the 22-year-old to flourish on the big stage and admitted he could even have been named in the World Cup squad. “I'd have thought he might have had an outside chance. They're all talking about [Fulham attacker] Ryan Sessegnon, which I can understand, but if you've watched us since Christmas then Jack’s got that ability to get you off your seat and go 'wow',” he said. “He can go past somebody and create something, which is quite unique in this country. I really hope that on the big stage he can go and perform to the level which he's been performing at. “I hope we can give him the platform in the years to come. He's a mad Villa fan, his family are Villa through and through so let's hope it can be positive for everybody.”
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Welcome to the English Football League revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Welcome to the English Football League revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Welcome to the English Football League revolution
Fulham and Aston Villa go head to head in football's most lucrative game on Saturday but the EFL in general is in the midst of a revolution
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Whatever the outcome, Steve Bruce has shown that Aston Villa are in safe hands
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Championship play-off final: Fulham are better than Aston Villa but in Wembley pressure cooker it might not matter
Aston Villa v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Villa Park
The priceless moment a young Villa fan discovered he’ll be a Wembley mascot
Aston Villa v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Villa Park
Ryan Sessegnon is set to feature for Fulham in Saturday’s Championship play-off final against Aston Villa at Wembley.
Ryan Sessegnon’s washday feat shows news cycle is spinning out of control
Ryan Sessegnon is set to feature for Fulham in Saturday’s Championship play-off final against Aston Villa at Wembley.
What is it? The so-called 'richest game in football.' Aston Villa and Fulham meet at Wembley to decide who will become the third and final Championship team to be promoted to the Premier League. When is it? Saturday May 26: a tasty appetiser before the main course of the Champions League final later that evening. What time is kick off? 5pm. What TV channel is it on? You can watch the game live on Sky Sport Football or Sky Sports Main Event. What's the team news? Ahmed Elmohamady is Aston Villa's only injury doubt going into the final. The full-back injured his hamstring during Aston Villa's semi-final first leg against Middlesbrough and manager Steve Bruce admits he faces a race against time to be fit for Wembley on Saturday. "The next 24-48 hours are crucial. He's trained for the past two days. He could be in contention," said Bruce. "We'll make a decision on Friday." Fulham also have no new injury concerns after their semi-final triumph over Derby County. Ryan Sessegnon boy wonder What are they saying? Steve Bruce on taking Villa back to the top flight Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images I've waited 20 years to work at a club like this. We're the fifth most successful club in England. On 26th May 1982 we won the European Cup. That's the expectation of this club. I'm at a great club, a big club that needs to be in the Premier League. To manage here has been an absolute pleasure. It's a great place with a lot of good people working at it. It hasn't let me down at all. I've enjoyed being associated with Aston Villa ever since I arrived. "My hope now is that I can get it moving even more in the right direction and make it even bigger. Let's get it up, build again for next season and take it to where it needs to be. Let's hope this is the start of a new beginning for us – in the Premier League. Slavisa Jokanovic on targeting John Terry Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted Fulham will look to target John Terry Credit: Reuters We are going to try to put against him some fast and some stronger players. I hope he will make some mistakes. This is the kind of impact I expect from his side. All of us can make mistakes. I expect some mistakes from his side and that’s it. When you talk about experience, you are talking about the past Terry is a fantastic player, Chester is a fantastic player. They have experience playing in this stadium. But probably they cannot be in their best level right now. We are the youngest team, the team with more energy. We believe in our style. We believe we can dominate the situation. Experience in life is important but it is not everything. What are the betting odds? Aston Villa 5/4 Fulham 8/11 Prediction The pressure will be firmly on Aston Villa as they bid to justify the huge outlay they have made on transfers in recent seasons. Expect a youthful Fulham side to capitalise on their opponents' nervousness. Score: Fulham 3-1 Aston Villa
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
What is it? The so-called 'richest game in football.' Aston Villa and Fulham meet at Wembley to decide who will become the third and final Championship team to be promoted to the Premier League. When is it? Saturday May 26: a tasty appetiser before the main course of the Champions League final later that evening. What time is kick off? 5pm. What TV channel is it on? You can watch the game live on Sky Sport Football or Sky Sports Main Event. What's the team news? Ahmed Elmohamady is Aston Villa's only injury doubt going into the final. The full-back injured his hamstring during Aston Villa's semi-final first leg against Middlesbrough and manager Steve Bruce admits he faces a race against time to be fit for Wembley on Saturday. "The next 24-48 hours are crucial. He's trained for the past two days. He could be in contention," said Bruce. "We'll make a decision on Friday." Fulham also have no new injury concerns after their semi-final triumph over Derby County. Ryan Sessegnon boy wonder What are they saying? Steve Bruce on taking Villa back to the top flight Steve Bruce knows Aston Villa fans expect their club to be playing top-flight football next season Credit: Getty Images I've waited 20 years to work at a club like this. We're the fifth most successful club in England. On 26th May 1982 we won the European Cup. That's the expectation of this club. I'm at a great club, a big club that needs to be in the Premier League. To manage here has been an absolute pleasure. It's a great place with a lot of good people working at it. It hasn't let me down at all. I've enjoyed being associated with Aston Villa ever since I arrived. "My hope now is that I can get it moving even more in the right direction and make it even bigger. Let's get it up, build again for next season and take it to where it needs to be. Let's hope this is the start of a new beginning for us – in the Premier League. Slavisa Jokanovic on targeting John Terry Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted Fulham will look to target John Terry Credit: Reuters We are going to try to put against him some fast and some stronger players. I hope he will make some mistakes. This is the kind of impact I expect from his side. All of us can make mistakes. I expect some mistakes from his side and that’s it. When you talk about experience, you are talking about the past Terry is a fantastic player, Chester is a fantastic player. They have experience playing in this stadium. But probably they cannot be in their best level right now. We are the youngest team, the team with more energy. We believe in our style. We believe we can dominate the situation. Experience in life is important but it is not everything. What are the betting odds? Aston Villa 5/4 Fulham 8/11 Prediction The pressure will be firmly on Aston Villa as they bid to justify the huge outlay they have made on transfers in recent seasons. Expect a youthful Fulham side to capitalise on their opponents' nervousness. Score: Fulham 3-1 Aston Villa
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
Championship play-off final 2018, Aston Villa vs Fulham: What time is kick off and what TV channel is it on?
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
How Fulham can beat Aston Villa and seal return to the Premier League
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
John Terry’s commitment has turned Aston Villa jeers to cheers ahead of Play-Off Final
Frustration with the same old names and faces occupying Premier League jobs was a feature of last season, and could even prove a watershed moment in how fans think about their manager. Sam Allardyce, Mark Hughes and Alan Pardew are just three beneficiaries of the managerial merry-go-round, but a culture of safe appointments is just as true in the upper echelons of the Premier League. Arsenal appointed Unai Emery as their new head coach on Wednesday while Chelsea have a strong interest Maurizio Sarri and both feel like the 'next cab off the rank' of European coaches. The omnipotent gaffer is being phased out of the game, in favour of more democratic and collegiate structures with power shared between a technical director, recruitment guru and head coach. Here are 10 coaches who might find themselves in contention for jobs when the sacking seasons begins in autumn. Domenico Tedesco (Schalke) Dominic Tedesco led Schalke to a second place finish in the Bundesliga Credit: AFP The head coach of the team who finished second in the Bundesliga is hardly an obscure selection, but 32-year-old Domenico Tedesco looks a cast-iron certainty to be considered for the next 'Big Six' job available. Born in Italy, Tedesco's parents emigrated to Germany when he was two years old. He never played football professionally but like Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann found a break in coaching at a young age. Appointed by second-tier Erzgebirge Aue in March 2017, Tedesco won 13 points from five games to guide them to safety. Schalke took a chance on him last summer and under his guidance the Gelsenkirchen club have qualified for the Champions League after a three-year absence. Regarded as a tactically flexible coach, one highlight of a superb debut season was a comeback from 4-0 down to 4-4 in the derby against Borussia Dortmund. Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta) Gasperini lasted only five games as Inter Milan manager in 2011, but has bounced back since then Credit: Getty Images Lasted only five games at Inter in 2011, but Gian Piero Gasperini has a warranted reputation for getting a lot from a little. He guided Genoa to Europe in 2009 but it is his work at Atalanta over the past few seasons that has really caught the eye. Benefiting from one of Italy's most productive academies, Giasperini's Atlanta recovered from losing four of their first five league games to finish fourth in 2016-17, achieving European qualification for the first time in 26-years. The 58-year-old coach ripped up the tactical rule-book, using a Dutch-style 3-4-3 that left opponents dumbfounded. Despite losing Franck Kessie to Milan last summer and other key players, Atalanta continued to punch above their weight with a seventh-placed finish. Giasperini is not the youthful up-and-comer some clubs crave, but any club looking to maximise meagre resources could do far worse. Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord) Giovanni van Bronckhorst was loosely linked with Arsenal before Unai Emery's appointment Credit: Getty Images The former Arsenal player received a ringing endorsement from Arsene Wenger last year and a glance at his record makes it easy to see why. Guided Feyenoord to the Dutch Cup in his first season before winning the Eredivisie in his second, coaxing the best out of a squad with a mix of talented youngsters and wise old heads such as Dirk Kuyt. Last season proved more challenging, but Feyenoord did rally late, winning their last eight league matches to finish fourth and claimed another cup. Ralph Hasenhüttl (free agent) Hasenhüttl stepped down as RB Leipzig head coach at the end of last season after two seasons in charge. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have made both made new appointments this summer, so Hasenhüttl must consider his next move. The Austrian guided the controversial Bundesliga newcomers to second-place and Champions League qualification with a brand of high-octane, progressive football. He may have fallen out with RB Leipzig's hierarchy over a new contract, but Hasenhüttl looks ideally suited to any club with a technical director-head coach set-up. Whether he can find a club that can unearth talent like Naby Keita or Emil Forsberg is another matter. Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) Eddie Howe's name has not been mentioned for recent managerial vacancies Credit: Reuters Not an unfamiliar name, but one who seems to be drifting down clubs' lists. In the summer of 2016 there were reports that he was well thought of by Arsenal's hierarchy, and he was also linked with Everton - the club he supported as a boy. He was frequently spoken of as a potential England manager too. Several managerial vacancies have opened up in the last few months, and Howe does not seem to have been considered for any of them. He has done nothing to diminish his reputation in the intervening period, quite the opposite in fact, so his diminished status is curious. Bournemouth's last two league finishes are ninth and 12th - a commendable achievement. His record in the transfer market is patchy however, and there is also a risk that becomes institutionalised at Bournemouth. Familiarity breeds contempt. Tite (Brazil) Tite has been praised for his man-management of Neymar Credit: Reuters The quality of manager in international football is desperately low, but Brazil's Tite is one who looks capable of stepping into a top club job. Has galvanised a group of players rocked by a 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation on home soil at the hands of Germany. Following the oppressive Dunga, Tite has put an arm round a few of his charges and the result is possibly the best Brazil team since 2002. Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho will lead the charge in Russia, with Roberto Firmino and Willian in reserve, supported by a likely midfield three of Casemiro, Paulinho and Rene Augusto. Dani Alves' injury is a blow, leaving the right-back berth free in a back four otherwise compromised of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Marcelo. In goal, they can choose between Alisson and Ederson. Not bad. Neil Harris (Millwall) Lee Johnson, Dean Smith and Paul Cook are all promising Championship managers, but Neil Harris has done a remarkable job at the Den against all the odds. Building upon the 'siege mentality' that is part of Millwall's essential character, and thanks in no small part to Lee Gregory and Steve Morison's strike partnership, Harris has taken the London club from League One to the brink of the play-offs. It would take a hell of an offer to tempt Harris away from Millwall however, where he enjoys legendary status. Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate) Another disciple of Marcelo Bielsa, Gallardo could be the next successful Argentinian coaching export. Appointed River Plate manager in 2014, he has tucked away the Copa Sudamericana, Copa Libertadores and the Recopa already. Gallardo has a reputation as an innovator too, becoming the first coach in Argentina's first division to appoint a female assistant as well as working with a neuroscientist to hone players' mental approach. Could be on Atletico Madrid's shortlist should Diego Simeone ever depart. Slavisa Jokanovic (Fulham) There have been some recent whispers that Chelsea are interested in Slavisa Jokanovic Credit: PA There have already been whispers of Chelsea's interest, but if Fulham win their play-off final against Aston Villa and thrive in the Premier League then Jokanovic will be a wanted man. Fulham were without a doubt the best footballing side in the Championship last season, but Jokanovic also possesses an inner-steel that ensures discipline is not lost in all the pretty passing patterns. For clubs lost in the Premier League mid-table morass, Jokanovic would instill a style of play and an identity for fans to believe in. Rui Vitoria (Benfica) Has lifted two Portuguese championships and two cups in three seasons at Benfica, and at 48 Vitoria must surely be considering a fresh challenge. Losing out on the championship to Porto this season also has Vitoria under pressure Benfica are a dominant force, but a win percentage of 70% after 152 matches in charge remains impressive. Jose Mourinho's former assistant Rui Faria has been linked to the job, so that could free Vitoria to seek pastures new.
The 10 managers nobody is linking with vacant jobs...but should be
Frustration with the same old names and faces occupying Premier League jobs was a feature of last season, and could even prove a watershed moment in how fans think about their manager. Sam Allardyce, Mark Hughes and Alan Pardew are just three beneficiaries of the managerial merry-go-round, but a culture of safe appointments is just as true in the upper echelons of the Premier League. Arsenal appointed Unai Emery as their new head coach on Wednesday while Chelsea have a strong interest Maurizio Sarri and both feel like the 'next cab off the rank' of European coaches. The omnipotent gaffer is being phased out of the game, in favour of more democratic and collegiate structures with power shared between a technical director, recruitment guru and head coach. Here are 10 coaches who might find themselves in contention for jobs when the sacking seasons begins in autumn. Domenico Tedesco (Schalke) Dominic Tedesco led Schalke to a second place finish in the Bundesliga Credit: AFP The head coach of the team who finished second in the Bundesliga is hardly an obscure selection, but 32-year-old Domenico Tedesco looks a cast-iron certainty to be considered for the next 'Big Six' job available. Born in Italy, Tedesco's parents emigrated to Germany when he was two years old. He never played football professionally but like Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann found a break in coaching at a young age. Appointed by second-tier Erzgebirge Aue in March 2017, Tedesco won 13 points from five games to guide them to safety. Schalke took a chance on him last summer and under his guidance the Gelsenkirchen club have qualified for the Champions League after a three-year absence. Regarded as a tactically flexible coach, one highlight of a superb debut season was a comeback from 4-0 down to 4-4 in the derby against Borussia Dortmund. Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta) Gasperini lasted only five games as Inter Milan manager in 2011, but has bounced back since then Credit: Getty Images Lasted only five games at Inter in 2011, but Gian Piero Gasperini has a warranted reputation for getting a lot from a little. He guided Genoa to Europe in 2009 but it is his work at Atalanta over the past few seasons that has really caught the eye. Benefiting from one of Italy's most productive academies, Giasperini's Atlanta recovered from losing four of their first five league games to finish fourth in 2016-17, achieving European qualification for the first time in 26-years. The 58-year-old coach ripped up the tactical rule-book, using a Dutch-style 3-4-3 that left opponents dumbfounded. Despite losing Franck Kessie to Milan last summer and other key players, Atalanta continued to punch above their weight with a seventh-placed finish. Giasperini is not the youthful up-and-comer some clubs crave, but any club looking to maximise meagre resources could do far worse. Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord) Giovanni van Bronckhorst was loosely linked with Arsenal before Unai Emery's appointment Credit: Getty Images The former Arsenal player received a ringing endorsement from Arsene Wenger last year and a glance at his record makes it easy to see why. Guided Feyenoord to the Dutch Cup in his first season before winning the Eredivisie in his second, coaxing the best out of a squad with a mix of talented youngsters and wise old heads such as Dirk Kuyt. Last season proved more challenging, but Feyenoord did rally late, winning their last eight league matches to finish fourth and claimed another cup. Ralph Hasenhüttl (free agent) Hasenhüttl stepped down as RB Leipzig head coach at the end of last season after two seasons in charge. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have made both made new appointments this summer, so Hasenhüttl must consider his next move. The Austrian guided the controversial Bundesliga newcomers to second-place and Champions League qualification with a brand of high-octane, progressive football. He may have fallen out with RB Leipzig's hierarchy over a new contract, but Hasenhüttl looks ideally suited to any club with a technical director-head coach set-up. Whether he can find a club that can unearth talent like Naby Keita or Emil Forsberg is another matter. Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) Eddie Howe's name has not been mentioned for recent managerial vacancies Credit: Reuters Not an unfamiliar name, but one who seems to be drifting down clubs' lists. In the summer of 2016 there were reports that he was well thought of by Arsenal's hierarchy, and he was also linked with Everton - the club he supported as a boy. He was frequently spoken of as a potential England manager too. Several managerial vacancies have opened up in the last few months, and Howe does not seem to have been considered for any of them. He has done nothing to diminish his reputation in the intervening period, quite the opposite in fact, so his diminished status is curious. Bournemouth's last two league finishes are ninth and 12th - a commendable achievement. His record in the transfer market is patchy however, and there is also a risk that becomes institutionalised at Bournemouth. Familiarity breeds contempt. Tite (Brazil) Tite has been praised for his man-management of Neymar Credit: Reuters The quality of manager in international football is desperately low, but Brazil's Tite is one who looks capable of stepping into a top club job. Has galvanised a group of players rocked by a 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation on home soil at the hands of Germany. Following the oppressive Dunga, Tite has put an arm round a few of his charges and the result is possibly the best Brazil team since 2002. Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho will lead the charge in Russia, with Roberto Firmino and Willian in reserve, supported by a likely midfield three of Casemiro, Paulinho and Rene Augusto. Dani Alves' injury is a blow, leaving the right-back berth free in a back four otherwise compromised of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Marcelo. In goal, they can choose between Alisson and Ederson. Not bad. Neil Harris (Millwall) Lee Johnson, Dean Smith and Paul Cook are all promising Championship managers, but Neil Harris has done a remarkable job at the Den against all the odds. Building upon the 'siege mentality' that is part of Millwall's essential character, and thanks in no small part to Lee Gregory and Steve Morison's strike partnership, Harris has taken the London club from League One to the brink of the play-offs. It would take a hell of an offer to tempt Harris away from Millwall however, where he enjoys legendary status. Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate) Another disciple of Marcelo Bielsa, Gallardo could be the next successful Argentinian coaching export. Appointed River Plate manager in 2014, he has tucked away the Copa Sudamericana, Copa Libertadores and the Recopa already. Gallardo has a reputation as an innovator too, becoming the first coach in Argentina's first division to appoint a female assistant as well as working with a neuroscientist to hone players' mental approach. Could be on Atletico Madrid's shortlist should Diego Simeone ever depart. Slavisa Jokanovic (Fulham) There have been some recent whispers that Chelsea are interested in Slavisa Jokanovic Credit: PA There have already been whispers of Chelsea's interest, but if Fulham win their play-off final against Aston Villa and thrive in the Premier League then Jokanovic will be a wanted man. Fulham were without a doubt the best footballing side in the Championship last season, but Jokanovic also possesses an inner-steel that ensures discipline is not lost in all the pretty passing patterns. For clubs lost in the Premier League mid-table morass, Jokanovic would instill a style of play and an identity for fans to believe in. Rui Vitoria (Benfica) Has lifted two Portuguese championships and two cups in three seasons at Benfica, and at 48 Vitoria must surely be considering a fresh challenge. Losing out on the championship to Porto this season also has Vitoria under pressure Benfica are a dominant force, but a win percentage of 70% after 152 matches in charge remains impressive. Jose Mourinho's former assistant Rui Faria has been linked to the job, so that could free Vitoria to seek pastures new.

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