STRIKER OUT AND OTHERS TO GO AT VILLA
TWELVE months after relegation, Aston Villa have failed to bounce straight back to the Premier League and manager Steve Bruce is under no illusions about the amount of work that needs to be done.
Villa entered the final day of the season with 16 wins and the same number of losses but have never threatened an immediate return to the top flight.
The club were 19th in the table when Bruce took over from Roberto Di Matteo in October.
And, with a busy summer expected at Villa Park, the manager concedes there is plenty on his to-do list before pre-season rolls around.
“I still stress that we’ve got a lot to do,” said Bruce.
“We have the next three months, which are vitally important to get a settled squad together, to try to clear out what’s gone on in the past, to try to sort out the futures of those out on loan and have a good review of everything.
“Of course, I’ve still got a lot to sort out.
“There are too many players out on loan. That has to be sorted.”
Striker Libor Kozak, 27, has already been released by Villa, with his contract due to end in the summer.
He made just 22 appearances and scored four goals in his four-year tenure.
And Bruce revealed that he won’t be the last player to be shown the exit door at Villa Park over the coming weeks after a disappointing campaign.
“Already, big Libor Kozak has gone and I’m sure there’ll be one or two others over the next few months,” he added.
“Also, I think we’ve proved over the last couple of years that throwing money at it isn’t always the answer.
“However, we’ve got to look at the whole situation.
“It’s a big, important time for us, so we’ll see what develops over the summer.”
DECISIONS: Steve Bruce