Steve Bruce reaping benefits of Aston Villa 'big player' policy

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Mile Jedinak's header won it at the Riverside on Saturday as they look to end their two-year Premier League exile.

"There's an expectancy with a big club, big history - you need big players".

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Groups of young activists repeatedly approached the fence, but were quickly scattered by gunfire and tear gas. Clashes have also reportedly broken out between protesters and the Israeli Defense Forces in Bethlehem.

"[Ahmed] El Mohamady, [Glenn] Whelan, John Terry, Jedinak, James Chester and Robert Snodgrass - all people who've been there, worn the t-shirt. There's been a lot of players here over the years that have struggled to come to terms with playing for a big club".

"We'll wait until he comes back from the hospital and we'll take a view then".

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In his 20-day rehab assignment that ended Monday, Drury batted.315 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 67 plate appearances. Andujar, 23, has started the bulk of games at third base in Drury's absence, batting.282 with three home runs and 14 RBIs.

Ahmed Elmohamady (hamstring) is Villa's only major concern, with James Bree set to deputise at right-back should the Egyptian global not be available.

Bruce made no secret his first-leg strategy had been created to limit Boro dangerman Adama Traore, something his players achieved with Alan Hutton, aided by Robert Snodgrass in particular, who largely nullified the 22-year-old Spaniard. "That will give us even more confidence in the final". We can't get too excited at the halfway stage. At the same time we want to win the game.

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Key Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala will find out today the extent of a knee injury that forced him off in the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

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