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It's a feisty affair as Bruce is forced to rein in his players.

STEVE Bruce has revealed how fired up his Villa players are for the play-off final, explaining how he had to put the brakes on in training to stop his side from burning themselves out.

Villa take on Fulham at Wembley tomorrow with a place in the Premier League - and PS170 million - at stake.

And at his pre-match press conference, the manager explained how the energy and enthusiasm levels had soared after the semi-final win.

"On Tuesday I had to stop training early because they were champing at the bit - too early," he said.

"It got a bit feisty, to say the least. So it has all the makings of a big game round the corner."

Asked whether that was just standard procedure before a big game or whether Villa's players were even more fired up, Bruce replied: "It was very, very interesting.

"It's not a bad sign. I'm not against it at all. It's normal. We just stepped in and cut it a little short... shall we put it that way. And I hadn't even revealed the team then."

Bruce has since selected his starting line-up and told the unlucky few who will miss out "I don't usually do that (name the team on a Tuesday) because I remember from my days as a player, and if I wasn't in it then on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I'd have a face like a slapped arse.

"But for preparation in a one-off, it's important that we're ready."

The relaxed mood of the manager suggests that preparation has gone well. And Bruce can feel the excitement already.

"It's what we're all in it for, to go to Wembley for a big occasion and try and be successful.

"It's just around the corner and everybody's champing at the bit.

"Whatever it is there's a crackle around the place and that's part and parcel of being part of a big game."

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Steve Bruce had to end a training session because his players were getting too fired up

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 25, 2018
Words:335
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