Manager Steve Bruce has admitted Aston Villa gave themselves too much to do in the weekend’s loss to Sheffield Wednesday and the day only got worse for us with injuries.
Hosting Carlos Carvalhal’s side at Villa Park for the tie, Villa found themselves a goal behind come the first minute and we were two nil down before 25 minutes had been played.
With injuries to John Terry and Robert Snodgrass on the day, Chris Samba’s late consolation was little cheer.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media post game, a downbeat Bruce explained.
‘We gave ourselves a mountain to climb, going 2-0 down inside 20 minutes. You have to say, they were two wonderful goals. They were both different – one from 30 yards which is smashed into the top corner, and the other a good move by them. It left us with an uphill battle all game. We’ve also picked up injuries. It was one of those awful afternoons. All in all, it just didn’t happen for us.’
With confirmation now that Terry has broken his metatarsal and will be out for upwards of 12 weeks, Bruce said at the time.
‘It looks like we’ve lost John to a broken metatarsal. How bad is it? We’ll have to wait and see. We should know in the coming hours. I also took a gamble on Snoddy, he’s played with a fractured rib and has had to come off.’
Moving back to the game, he added.
‘We found it difficult against a good team, who then sat in behind us when 2-0 up. They sat deep and we lacked that little bit of guile and know-how. We’ve gone direct in the last 15 minutes with big Chris Samba. We got some reward, but it was a bit too late. He’s an experienced player who’s had to wait his turn. He’ll obviously have to step up to the plate now. It looks as if he’s been given an opportunity now with JT being out. That’s exactly why we brought him here.’
Jack Grealish made his first team return to the game as a late substitute as he continues building his own fitness.
‘It’s good to see Jack back. It was a good through ball he played late in the game. He showed that bit of guile. It’s great to have him back.’
The game also marked our first home league defeat of the campaign.
‘There’s only a quarter of the season gone. We’ve had a really good run. It’s our first defeat at home since last season. We’ve had a bad afternoon – a tough day. But we take it, move forward and get ready to go again.’
As for television and fixture changes, the latest announcement sees three games effected.
We now host Sheffield United at 5.30pm on Saturday December 23 with the away trip to Brentford taking place at the glorious time of 7.30pm on Boxing Day.
Our New Year’s Day hosting of Bristol City will kick off at 5.30pm, and our trip to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest will kick off at 5.30pm on Saturday January 13.
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