Promotion still the aim for troubled Aston Villa says James Bree
Defender James Bree insists promotion is 'one thousand per cent' the aim for Villa this coming season despite the club's off-field troubles.
The 20-year-old is hoping to play a more important role for Steve Bruce's side after only making 10 appearances last campaign, which ended in Championship play-off final defeat to Fulham.
When asked if the target is to go one better this time around, Bree said: "One thousand per cent. Everyone wants to get promotion every year, no matter what's going on.
"I think that's what we've got to push for. We've just got to go and see what happens this season."
Villa are in the midst of a cash crisis after failing to clinch a return to the top flight.
The club narrowly avoided being hit with a winding-up order earlier this summer and players must be sold to avoid further financial danger.
Jack Grealish and James Chester are expected to leave for significant fees, while strikers Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan are gathering interest.
Villa are also willing to listen to offers for veteran midfielder Mile Jedinak, to offload his £50,000-a-week wages.
Former Barnsley man Bree, though, is looking at the positives after being involved in a productive pre-season camp in Portgual and a friendly victory at the weekend.
He was one of four Villa players to play the full 90 minutes in a 3-0 win at non-league AFC Telford United on Saturday – the others being Andre Green, Jed Steer and Mitchell Clark.
The squad was split in half as they also had a friendly at Kidderminster Harriers. It finished 1-1 at Aggborough.
"I'd say everyone is flying and doing really well," added Bree.
"Compared to last season, everyone has come back fitter – pre-season has been a bit tougher this time.
"We're all ready to crack on now."