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Steve Bruce: I accept the challenge

In-depth interview: Steve Bruce on commitment to Villa, FFP, transfers, pre-season and the new campaign Villa in Portugal injury update: Adomah, Hogan, McKirdy, RHM, Clark
Steve Bruce: I accept the challenge

Steve Bruce says he is determined to battle on as Aston Villa manager amid difficult times off the field.

As stated by both Bruce and owner Dr Tony Xia, Financial Fair Play will heavily impact transfer dealings this summer.

But the manager, who took us to within 90 minutes of desired Premier League promotion last term, is adamant he will not waver in his bid to reach our long-term goal.

Speaking to Club TV at pre-season camp in Portugal, he said: "It’s important we address the facts, tell the truth, tell the supporters the way it is. 

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"It’s going to be tough and hard going. We might have to make sacrifices which we don’t want to make. I might have to sell players I don’t want to sell.

"But the ambition will always remain the same, because we’re Aston Villa. We’ve got to try and mount a challenge if we can. Obviously it’s going to be far more difficult than it was last year but we’ve got to go with the same mindset.

"It's like anything in life - we might not necessarily like it, but we have to accept it. We have to face up to the realities of Financial Fair Play. We simply have to address it.

"The easy thing would be to walk away from it. But I've enjoyed being at this club the last few years and I'm determined to put it right if I possibly can.

"I want to steer us back in the right direction. It won't be easy, but it's something I've thought long and hard about and I want to try my best at."

Bruce added that this is now the time for supporters to show their worth.

He remains amazed by the figures that attended throughout the last campaign and have already signed up for season tickets next term, and is now calling upon them more than ever.

He said: "When I was asked if I'd like to stay on, it was the pleasure of managing a big club like ours that made me want to. Even though we're in a little bit of bother at the moment.

"But we're still a wonderful, big club. That only happens when you have big support.

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"To have more than 30,000 fans on average last season was unique. It was fantastic.

"The support is invaluable. If ever we need them it’s right now. The club needs them more than ever.

"I'd say to them keep on supporting us. I'll do my very best, too. Together, let's find a way forward."

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 10th July 2018