West Bromwich Albion captain Chris Brunt has apologised to the club and his team-mates after his red card in the Championship play-off semi-final defeat to bitter rivals Aston Villa on Tuesday night, speaking to the club’s official website.
The Baggies’ hopes of an immediate return to the Premier League fell flat as they lost on penalties against Dean Smith’s Villa at The Hawthorns following a 2-2 aggregate draw over the two legs.
Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi both had spot-kicks saved by goalkeeper Jed Steer as Tammy Abraham eventually sent Villa to Wembley from 12 yards.
But things could have been so different if the trusty Brunt, who was sure to have been one of West Brom’s first-choice penalty takers, had not been sent off for a needless late challenge on John McGinn towards the end of normal time.
And the 34-year-old, who has played for The Baggies for over a decade, has taken it upon himself to apologise after the most disappointing of defeats.
“We worked so hard to get back into the tie and we did pretty well I felt. We took away everything they were good at and created quite a lot of stuff ourselves,” Brunt said.
“Obviously going down to 10 men killed us - I can only apologise for that as it was my own fault. It took away a bit from our game although to be fair the reaction of the crowd and the lads was fantastic.”
Aston Villa will now face either Derby County or Leeds United at Wembley, hoping to reach the promised land after losing against Fulham in the play-off final 12 months ago.
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