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Bruce relieved as Villa end streak


Aston Villa's Tammy Abraham (right) and Jack Grealish applaud the fans. Photo: PA

Aston Villa's Tammy Abraham (right) and Jack Grealish applaud the fans. Photo: PA

Aston Villa's Tammy Abraham (right) and Jack Grealish applaud the fans. Photo: PA

A smiling Steve Bruce expressed his delight with Aston Villa's 2-0 Championship home win over Rotherham United which took the Midlands club into sixth spot.

Villa had failed to win any of their previous six games and the victory over Rotherham was a huge relief.

It was Bruce's 99th game in charge and he is confident that Villa can now kick-on and is predicting another strong promotion challenge.

Bruce expressed his delight that his two recent signings, Tammy Abraham and Yannick Bolasie were his goalscorers to ease the pressure that has been mounting in recent weeks at Villa Park.

"I am delighted for them," said Bruce. "They will be good players for Villa as they are the type who will get you off your seats. I thought the first goal was terrific. It was a great pass from Jack Grealish, a great pass from Jonathan Kodjia and a great finish by young Tammy."

But it was of some concern that Villa ominously failed to capitalise upon Abraham's 27th minute goal and allowed Rotherham to stay into the game until Bolasie settled the match in the 83rd minute.

But the under-pressure Villa boss admitted: "It was nice to win and we fully deserved to win. I was pleased for the lads after all the nonsense that has been written recently.

"The way to respond was to win and display the way we played on the night. My record speaks for itself. Given time with a new team I have the nucleus of a very decent side.

"They need adapt to play and settle down here at Villa Park. When they do we will be there or there abouts."

He added: "We have been close apart from two games against Sheffield United and when I made nine changes at Burton.

"But I think intelligent people will see through all the nonsense and think we have the makings of a decent team."

Bruce, still striving to find his best line-up, explained that the inclusion of Grealish wide on the left was due to him operating with two strikers, Abraham and Kodjia.

"I cannot play Jack in midfield to be the force he can be. I thought he again played really well."