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Press Conference hot topics: Bruce on new signings, more incomings, Jack Grealish and statement of intent

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Press Conference hot topics: Bruce on new signings, more incomings, Jack Grealish and statement of intent

Steve Bruce spoke to the media on Friday morning ahead of the Wigan Athletic match this weekend.

But, as expected, it was the busy week that's been that dominated the line of questioning throughout the press conference.

Here's what the manager had to say on transfer dealings and Jack Grealish among other things...


On a week that has seen a win, new signings and our best players kept...

I think the most important is the last one – keeping our best players.

Just a few weeks ago, everybody was for sale. To keep hold of them and add two or three to the group, despite the fact I think there's still another two or three to come, is a good position to be in.

The owners have shown that intent. I said a few weeks ago that if I was an Aston Villa fan, then I'd be delighted with what's happened to the club over the last few weeks.

In that respect, it's been a good week. None of our big players will be going to the Premier League now.

On the win at Hull City on Monday night...

It was a good result.

But if we're being honest with ourselves, we've got to be better going forwards.

If we're going to mount a challenge, we're still a bit short in my opinion.

It was good to win, get a result and get on with the football but we can't get carried away with that.


On Axel Tuanzebe...

It's great to have him back because it was disappointing for him last year. We only saw little glimpses of him as he got injured twice.

It's unfinished business as far as he's concerned.

He'll fit in anywhere across the back four – right-back, left-back, centre-back, middle of the pitch if we needed.

He's delighted to be back and we're delighted to have him.

The one thing he wants to do is play and get used to playing week in, week out, competitive football. He will do that here.

On Ørjan Nyland...

I think I've chased him now for the best part of four years – not just in my time at Aston Villa.

He's one I've come back to. He's the right age, he's got 20-odd caps for his country, so he's got decent experience. He'll be a big acquisition for us.

He's big, and got presence. He kicks well with both feet, which is vitally important for a goalkeeper. 

Being Norwegian, he'll most likely be ok in England and not need as much time to adapt, either.

We're quietly confident that we've got a very, very good goalkeeper. And he's our own, which is important. Since, I've been here, I've had to loan Sam Johnstone while the others suffered with injuries. 

So it's good to bring stability and competition to that area.


On John McGinn...

We've admired him from afar for a long time. A month ago I didn't think it'd be possible to compete with Celtic to sign him.

We were in the frame of mind that we'd have to let him go, but thankfully with the new owners coming in we've managed to do it.

He's a bit different to what we've got in midfield and I'm convinced he'll do well for us. I think he'll be a big favourite here.

He's left footed, powerful and can score a goal. He gets about the pitch, tackles – all the things you'd want from a modern midfielder.

On if the new signings will play this weekend...

They will come straight in. They will come straight into the equation. That’s why they are here.

As I said, I don't think we're quite finished yet either. There's still a bit to do.

On what else he feels is needed in the loan window...

We lost five or six really good players and we need to do our best to replace them.

If we can't, I'm happy to be patient. I won't stockpile signings.

We've got one or two things going at the moment and we'll see how they progress over the next few weeks.


On Jack Grealish...

There was no figure for Jack. The owner made pretty clear six days ago that whatever was offered, he wasn't going to listen to.

It's a statement of intent. Not everyone believed it – they can now. The owners don't want to lose their star players and want to build the team around Jack. Everyone has to respect that.

It's great for ourselves, and he's been terrific and respectful towards the club he and his family all support.

He's been here since he was six. I understand if he's slightly disappointed to not be playing in the big league.

But he's taken the decision and we'll move forward. Hopefully he'll help get us where we want to be and he'll be fulfilling all his ambitions with us.

On the new lease of life around the club...

It's amazing what a month has done. It's breathed new life into everybody.

All of a sudden now the supporters have a belief again – you saw that from the weekend the investment was confirmed at Burton.

Aston Villa fans should be excited about what's going to happen over the next few years because the intention is to take the club back to where it wants to be.


On Wigan Athletic...

I watched them last week and they could have scored four or five against Sheffield Wednesday. They were excellent.

They've signed well and are strong and athletic. They blew the league away last year and beat Manchester City in the FA Cup.

They're off to a really good start. It'll be a tough game.

My son is part of the squad and he'll want to turn us over, that's for sure!

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 10th August 2018