MX23RW : Thursday, July 19 00:29:41
May 12, 2018 at 5.15pm UK at ​Riverside Stadium
Attendance: 29,233
Middlesbrough
0-1
Aston Villa

Friend (45'), Gibson (49')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Jedinak (15')
Hourihane (13'), Snodgrass (75')

Steve Bruce warns Aston Villa players not to start dreaming of Wembley

Bruce: 'Villa players must stay grounded'
© Offside
Steve Bruce warns his Aston Villa players not to start dreaming of Wembley just yet despite a 1-0 lead in their Championship playoff semi-final with Middlesbrough.

Steve Bruce has warned his Aston Villa players not to get ahead of themselves despite their 1-0 lead in the Championship playoff semi-final against Middlesbrough.

Mile Jedinak's 15th-minute headed winner in Saturday's first leg at the Riverside Stadium handed the West Midlanders a slender advantage to take into the return leg at Villa Park on Tuesday.

Bruce, however, is not taking the first-leg result for granted, telling Sky Sports News: "We are pleased. Listen, all the cliches are going to come out, aren't they? Of course. We know the Championship is riddled with strange things. We have given ourselves a little advantage, a small advantage, but we're winning 1-0 at half time.

"I made that decision to try to get experienced players in the door so they could handle what Aston Villa throws at them. I thought it was vitally important that they can handle Aston Villa.

"That was the reason for going for the experience of [Glenn] Whelan, [Ahmed] Elmohamady, John Terry, of course, Mile - they all handle playing under pressure for a big club.

"When you're asking them to play in big semi-finals like tonight, then you need them to come to the party and, to a man, they did. I thought they were terrific."

Villa were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2015-16 season.

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