Bruce: This knackered Aston Villa player was treading water at end of Derby win
By Harry Sykes
Mile Jedinak will undergo a late fitness test ahead of Aston Villa’s Championship clash against Bristol City.
The midfield anchorman returned to the Villa team for the first time in a month for Saturday’s 1-0 win against Derby at Villa Park.
But manager Steve Bruce revealed the veteran Australian, 32, was exhausted towards the end of his 90-minute runout as the Midlands giant secured their first win of 2017.
“I have to look at people fitness-wise due to playing Saturday and Tuesday,” said Bruce on Monday, as quoted by the official Villa website. “Just look at Mile Jedinak. He played on Saturday. But he’s been out for a month.
“He was treading water towards the end. I will look at the lads now physically.”
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Jedinak was paired by Henri Lansbury in central midfield against Derby, with January signing Conor Hourihane unavailable due to injury.
But Bruce is hopeful that ex-Barnsley midfielder Hourihane can play some part against the Robins in what is a rearranged clash at Villa Park.
“Conor got a dead leg in training on Friday,” the manager added to the Villa website. “He and Leandro went for a header and Leandro smashed into his thigh.
“But Conor could still be available for Tuesday.”
Villa are aiming to build on Saturday’s triumph, which ended a wretched run of five consecutive defeats and threatened to push them into a relegation battle.
The Midlands club are 17th in the table with a haul of 39 points from 33 matches, which means they are eight points clear of Wigan in 22nd position.
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