Date: 23rd August 2018 at 12:53pm
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Manager Steve Bruce was almost 100% happy with Aston Villa’s showing last night as we faced Brentford.

Everyone knew it would be a tough test given recent clashes against Dean Smith’s side but under the Villa Park floodlights, we battled to a 2-2 draw with Jonathan Kodjia finding his scoring boots a bit more consistently as he helped himself to a brace – including a last-gasp leveller as we found ourselves behind twice in the game.

It was undoubtedly a deserved point on the night and by rights the performance we put in really should’ve returned all three from the game, but the delight for most fans was things felt like they were beginning to click and not only was the performance far improved, that soft underbelly that we still suffered from last season when things weren’t going our way has been replaced with a little more fight and steel.

Have the squad finally shock off the last few years of depression and the after effects of the drop?

Well, we can but hope.

Speaking to the Official Site following the game, Bruce explained.

“Anything less would have been unjust – the first half was as good as we’ve played in my time here. The way we set out our stall, chased the ball, moved the ball – I was delighted with us. We had a great energy about us and Brentford were close to being blown away. It wasn’t to be, and in the end we could have got punished, but I’m delighted with the effort from the team to get us back into it. All credit to them.”

You can read his full words on the above link, but you could tell Bruce’s pleasure as he added.

“We played very, very well. Sometimes you just have to look past the result and say ‘that’s the way we want to go about it, that’s the way we want to play’. I think the supporters enjoyed it – they stayed until the end. Fair play to them. We all got our reward with the last kick of the game.”

Looking past the result and losing the fear of defeat is something fans have long wanted, we have the quality, we showed it last season but more often than not we had the shackles on and begin with a defensive mindset rather than one that screams ‘you worry about your own defence’.

We can certainly tighten up at the back – and credit to Orjan Nyland as he probably needed a game like that – but if that’s the way we want to play, then let’s keep doing it.

As for the stamp – let’s see if the Football Association disgrace themselves again? Bruce is right, he shouldn’t have been on the pitch.

He also confirmed, given the announcement of Anwar El Ghazi that there was more to come on a signings front – so let’s hope it keeps coming together and who knows – if we actually play better, more attractive football will Bruce win over some doubters?

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