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Aston Villa

Steve Bruce reveals what he said to the players after play-off final defeat

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Steve Bruce used the disappointment of losing Saturday’s play-off final to Fulham to send a message to his players.

Tom Cairney’s goal was the slim difference between Fulham and Aston Villa, but that won’t help ease the disappointment of coming so close to returning to the Premier League after a two-year absence.

The Cottagers were the favourites going into this game due to their expansive style as well as league standings. However, it was a tight affair and Villa were unlucky not to find an equaliser.

Bruce told the official Aston Villa site what he had to say to the players after the loss: “I said to remember what defeat feels like in a big game, on a big occasion.”

There’s nothing worse than getting beat. But it’s part and parcel of football.”

Especially to the younger ones. Just remember how it feels.”

We’re all disappointed for everyone concerned with the club.”

The Verdict

This is an example of Bruce using all his experience in management to try and use this defeat in a positive manner. Ensuring that the players don’t forget this day and use this as inspiration for the future is the best way to motivate them for next season and beyond because they came so close to their goals.

It’s also important because some of the more experienced players that underpinned this team such as John Terry are likely to leave this summer. Therefore, there will be additional responsibility for some of the younger players so this will serve as a good lesson for them ahead of next season.

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