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Brunt happy if repeat of Villa handball controversy settles play-off clash

West Brom skipper Chris Brunt is ready to accept another helping hand from Jay Rodriguez to break Aston Villa hearts.

The Baggies head to Villa for the first leg of their Sky Bet Championship play-off on Saturday.

Rodriguez scored a controversial late leveller in December’s 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns, bundling the ball in with his hand.

It left Villa furious and they were unable to exact any revenge when West Brom claimed a 2-0 win at Villa Park in February.

They will have another opportunity in Saturday’s lunchtime showdown but Brunt hopes fortune favours his side once more.

He said: “We got away with one that night, of course we did. No bones about it.

“If we get away with another one on Saturday or Tuesday, I won’t be complaining.

“It’s just fine margins. You’re only a matter of something like that knocking you out or putting you through.

“If it was the other way around we would have been fuming. That’s life. Some you get, some you don’t.

“They got hard done by that night. I was standing behind a load of bodies, so I didn’t see it, but I’m not going to say he didn’t handball it because it obviously hit his hand.

“An extra two points in that game wouldn’t have made any difference to where they finished, so it didn’t really make any great difference.

“You’re always on the end of something, no matter what. People come off the pitch complaining about a refereeing decision regardless of whether you’ve won, lost or drawn. It’s a horrible, tough job isn’t it?”

Albion finished four points ahead of Villa in the regular season and Brunt remains relaxed as the club chase a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He added: “You don’t get an opportunity to play in games like this very often. There are lads who could go 20 years in their careers and not win anything or get the chance to play in a semi-final.

“When you’re a bit older you can be a bit more relaxed about it.”