QPR: Steve Bruce admits Aston Villa’s play-off charge has come too late

Jonathan Kodjia struck his 18th goal of the season to earn Villa their seventh win in eight matches and move nine points behind the top six.

But with only six matches to play this season, Bruce knows his side have left their charge too late.

“I believe that we have given ourselves too much to do,” Bruce said.

“We have got to improve with the ball particularly late in the game.

“But they have found the resilience which is required in the Championship. To concede only one goal in eight games is an incredible turn around.

“It is a shame we are not four or five points closer to the play-offs but that is where we are at the moment.

“With six games to go we have probably given ourselves too much to do but we are making a fist of it which is good.”

Bruce acknowledges that a great deal of Villa’s success is down to the goals of Kodjia.

“There is a huge emphasis on Jon and the quality of his goal won us the match.” said Bruce.

“QPR had good possession and made it difficult for us and when you do not get the second goal you become edgy, the crowd become edgy and the whole thing develops into an awkward evening which for me should have been more comfortable.”

QPR boss Ian Holloway felt his side were unfortunate not to claim a point.

“It was a frustrating match,” he said. “That is football for you as we were beaten by one hell of a goal early in the game.

“If one of my team had scored that goal I would have been delighted. Unfortunately I had to stand there and watch it unfold.

“We looked a little bothered by the goal but as the game went on we gave a much better account of ourselves and felt a little aggrieved with the result.

“Kodjia cost B£15million and he has certainly earned his money against us with two winning goals this season.

“I certainly thought we had more than enough in my team to get a point despite lacking the quality in the last part of the pitch.

“But for me Steve Bruce is a world-class manager. People may laugh but you do not get four promotions at this level if you are not as good as he is. Actually I wanted him for England when he was out of work.”



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