Mile shows club won’t be stuck in mid­dle

Birmingham Post - - SPORT -

IF THERE’S one man Steve Bruce knows he can call on in his time of need, it’s Mile Je­d­i­nak,

Just when Villa were run­ning out of steam against bit­ter ri­vals Blues on Sun­day, the ev­er­green 33-yearold (pic­tured) was in­tro­duced to sti­fle the at­tack.

Now some might see this as a neg­a­tive tac­tic. In­tro­duc­ing a de­fen­sive mid­fielder for the fi­nal half-an-hour of an evenly-poised lo­cal derby, and a game Villa were ex­pected to win.

Others will un­der­stand that a point on the road un­der Off came the in­ef­fec­tive “It was im­por­tant be­cause we had dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances and Robert Sn­od­grass and a few prob­lems with their phys­i­calan­other morale-boost­in­gity.”Je­d­i­nakslot­te­d­in­frontof clean sheet will go down the back four. Villa then Keinan Davis’s in­tro­duc­tion also as a pos­i­tive re­sult. took con­trol. helped. He rat­tled the cross­bar from

Thrown on with They didn’t shut up close range, as did Jonathan Kod­jia, 30 min­utes re­main­ing, shop and pro­tect the while the lat­ter forced To­masz Je­d­i­nak was tasked point. They stopped Kuszczak into the save of the whole with con­tain­ing Blues from scor­ing. game. Cheikh Ndoye. And with Je­d­i­nak With­out Je­d­i­nak, Villa could have

Blues’ bustling No.10 on the pitch, they been re­flect­ing on a de­feat and the was iden­ti­fied as the cre­ated their best pres­sure would have been back dan­ger­man be­fore the chances of the game. ahead of tonight’s trip to Pre­ston. game and af­ter an hour of a “He was ex­cel­lent. He In­stead, they can go there with the cagey af­fair, Bruce had seen negated their phys­i­cal threat,” free­dom to ex­press them­selves and enough. Bruce said. take the game to their hosts.

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