Steve Bruce faced the press at Bodymoor Heath on Friday to discuss the latest goings on concerning Aston Villa.
The claret and blues manager has been preparing his side for the trip to Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening, as Villa look to respond to the disappointing FA Cup exit at the hands of Peterborough last weekend.
Also on the agenda was the latest team news, an update on the transfer situation and Bruce’s thoughts on the newly implemented VAR system.
Here’s the transcript, in full, of everything Bruce said in the broadcast section of his press conference.
“I think everybody knows and understands the situation we’re in.
“I think I’ve been pretty clear.
“With the financial situation at the club, we’re not in a position to spend millions.
“However, if we look to go down the loan route which has been really positive for us, even at the start of the season with Sam. Snodgrass in particular, we’ve done very well with the loan situation.
“Josh Onomah is another one.
“We’ll try and go down that route, we’re close to one of two things to bring in.
“Until you get them over the line, then you can’t really reveal.
“We’re particularly close on one - let’s hope it can happen.”
MOVING ON FROM THE CUP DEFEAT
“There is no disputing that we’re very disappointed with what happened last week.
“But in hindsight, the four or five young players we played alongside the three or four players who had been out for a very long time made it hard work for us.
“However I do think it was invaluable for the young players and also the players who had been out for two or three months, to get some sort of football in them.
“We’re disappointed with the cup tie, but we’re going to be judged on what we do in the league and rightly so.
“Another big game again tomorrow and we’re now into the beginning of the end of the January.
“With less than 20 games to play after tomorrow - it’s all to play for.”
FACING A SIDE WITH A NEW MANAGER
“We seem to be having a lot of new managers, it’s becoming the trend.
“Forest have made a change, and they had a wonderful victory in the cup themselves.
“It just goes to show how bizarre football is.
“We’re expecting a difficult game. They’ve got some good players, Nottingham Forest, like a lot of the Championship teams.
“It’ll be a tough, tough game.”
DOES NEW MANAGER AFFECT PREPARATIONS?
“There’s that many changes now, whether you’re in the Premier League or Championship in particular there’s a change.
“There seems to be two or three every other week.
“Yes, we’ll come up against a new manager and he’ll have new ideas.
“For me it’s not the manager we take on. It’s the team and they perform.
“The team, the last couple of weeks in particular, away at Middlesbrough and at home to Bristol City, was arguably as good as we’ve been all season.
“It’s important we keep that form, and if we do we give ourselves a chance.”
FOREST ON A HIGH AFTER ARSENAL WIN
“It goes to show, Nottingham Forest are a big club, with a big tradition and a big history.
“They’ve been in this division now for 15, 16 years.
“Big support, it’ll be a big game.
“We’re live on the TV again. We’ve sold out our allocation as always so let’s hope we can go and perform like we did in the last couple of weeks and get a result.”
MOOD IN THE CAMP AFTER BRISTOL CITY WIN
“There’s nothing like a good performance against one of your rivals.
“But look, it was that long ago now - it’s two weeks.
“The important thing for me has always been consistency.
“Consistency wise, even though we never got the results, take away the cup tie, we had a bad 45 minutes against Brentford.
“Up until then, we did okay at Derby and made mistakes. Did okay against Sheffield, big games and made mistakes.
“But our actual performances were decent. They were a level that I’ve now come to expect.
“If we get that level of performance, then as I keep saying we’ll give ourselves a right good chance.”
“I’m waiting still on Jedinak and unfortunately John Terry rolled his ankle on Wednesday and he’s a doubt as well.
“He’s just got over his injury and unfortunately he’s rolled his ankle slightly and we’ll see how he is.
“Scott Hogan is fine. He’s trained all week.
“Andre, we decided to get another hour under his belt having been out for so long. We thought it’d be good for him.
“We played him last night, and he’s got through it, which is good.”
PLAYERS RETURNING FROM INJURY
“I think it was really important that I needed to have.
“Going forward we hope that we have a bit more luck than we’ve had in the first half of the season.
“Fair play to the squad, they’ve managed to cope because when you look it and analyse it we’ve had big players missing for months.
“Kodjia, Grealish, Terry, Jedinak. All big, big players for us.
“Hopefully in the second half of the season we’ll do better with injuries.”
THOUGHTS ON VAR
“There was a big debate on Hazard, and was it a penalty against Arsenal.
“Even with VAR, is that a penalty or not?
“That’s my only concern. If it gets the majority of decisions right, then we’re all for it.
“If there comes a time in a big game where even VAR is going to look at it and say ‘is that a penalty, or is it not?’ then let’s hope they can get the right decision because I think we’re all in it for one thing.
“If big games are decided by controversy, it’s not great. However if it can improve us and can improve the standards then all for it.”