Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak says Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final is a “crossroads moment” for the club.
Whichever team triumphs at Wembley and seals a place in the Premier League can look forward to future additional revenue of at least £160million across the next three seasons, according to Deloitte.
Should Villa lose to Fulham on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Football, the implications for the club could be massive.
A Villa vs Fulham
May 26, 2018, 4:00pm
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The final year of parachute payments would see Villa have to cut their cloth accordingly and it would likely lead to the break up of Steve Bruce’s squad.
Jedinak insists it is no exaggeration to call the match life-changing for everyone involved.
“It is in every aspect. It is a crossroads moment, sliding doors moment. It is like that. It can go one of two ways. That’s what you’re dealing with,” said the Australian.
“We haven’t spoken about it but everybody knows it. Nobody is kidding themselves, people are aware of it, they know the situation.”
Aston Villa have arrived in London ahead of their Championship play-off final against Fulham
The 33-year-old, however, thrives on such pressure and relishes the big occasion.
Jedinak, promoted through the Championship play-offs with Crystal Palace in 2013, has assured Villa supporters he and his team-mates will do all they can to achieve the right result.
“I can’t speak for everybody, but that (the pressure) motivates me. I use that on the field to make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can,” he said.
“It’s a bigger stake, but that makes it even more exciting.
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“We are doing the right things and making sure all that [wilting under the pressure] doesn’t happen. How? We make sure we prepare properly, we are doing everything right since that final whistle went against Middlesbrough [in the semi-final].
“You do that and you give yourself every opportunity. On Saturday you are going to have to see everybody’s last drop of sweat. Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.
“I am aware of it, I’m sure everyone else is aware of it. It is going to be one big push from everybody to see us through.”
Robert Snodgrass sat down with David Prutton ahead of the Championship play-off final
Win or lose at Wembley, Villa boss Bruce agrees with Jedinak that squad upheaval is likely.
Loan players Sam Johnstone, Axel Tuanzebe, Robert Snodgrass, Josh Onomah and Lewis Grabban will return to their parent clubs, while John Terry’s future looks like it depends on Saturday’s result and Jack Grealish is already the subject of speculation.
“I am sure it will be totally different. The five loan signings for a start, I don’t think we will be able to get them back,” said Bruce. “I am sure it will change, it will have to.
“There has to be a loser. If it is us then we have to regroup, rebuild and go again. There will be difficult times ahead but then again, last summer was difficult. We had to balance the books. I am sure we would have to do the same again.”