Villa holds off Middlesbrough to reach Championship playoff final


Fans who had followed their side had been rather disappointed with the way their team had played in their two most important games of the season, however, they did manage to find the positives in one man's performance.

Villa is hoping to return to the Premier League after a two-year absence.

"It was agony towards the end, if I'm being honest".

Samuel spent the majority of his career at Villa before moving on to Bolton and loan spells at Gillingham and Cardiff before ending his playing career in Iran.

Neil Taylor and Axel Tuanzebe could be out for Villa with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, so Alan Hutton looks set to fill in at left-back with Ahmed Elmohamady at right-back again.

Bruce is now just one game away from a fifth promotion as manager to the Premier League, having also taken Birmingham and Hull up via the playoffs. One more step and it'll be the dream'.

'There is a great team spirit among the boys.

"It was quite tense, I think our game plan worked superbly so our manager deserves a lot of credit for that".

Villa came close through Lewis Grabban and Conor Hourihane and were comfortable against a poor Boro side.

There was controversy in the closing stages when Adama Traoré's shot for Middlesbrough appeared to be goalbound when keeper Sam Johnstone blocked it with his hand outside the area, but the Welshman escaped with just a yellow card...