Ireland duo set to lose fitness battle as Hull gear up for final

Aston Villa 3 Hull City 1

Ireland duo set to lose fitness battle as Hull gear up for final

Hull City boss Steve Bruce admitted the duo don’t have much chance of winning their battles to be fit for the clash with Arsenal at Wembley on May 17.

McShane has been sidelined since he suffered ankle ligament damage against Southampton on February 11 while Brady has been missing since March following groin surgery. Bruce also has Scotland international goalkeeper Allan McGregor fighting to be fit for the final after he suffered three broken ribs and kidney damage against West Ham United on March 26.

But he said: “I don’t think they have much chance of making the final.

“You have to weigh up the fact they have been out of the side for a long, long time. Wembley is not a place to have players half fit or taking chances.

Meanwhile Aston Villa are safe from relegation, but manager Paul Lambert remains in the dark about owner Randy Lerner’s intentions for the club.

Speculation that Lerner will look to sell the club this summer has been growing since he released a vague statement last month which indicated only that he would clarify his own position at the end of the season.

With Premier League football now virtually assured following the victory at Villa Park, all eyes are on the American businessman’s next move. But Lambert, whose own future is uncertain as a result of perceived instability at the top, has no inside track.

Asked what developments he expected at boardroom level, the Scot said: “You’re asking me a question I can’t give an answer to and that’s me being honest.”

ASTON VILLA: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Clark, Albrighton (El Ahmadi 76), Westwood, Delph, Bertrand, Weimann (Bacuna 82), Agbonlahor (Bowery 24).

Subs not used: Steer, Sylla, Holt, Robinson.

HULL: Harper, Chester (Bruce 43), Davies, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler (Quinn 46), Rosenior, Long, Jelavic (Sagbo 70).

Subs not used: Koren, Fryatt, Jakupovic, Boyd.

Att: 37,182

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox