Bruce regrets not changing winning team after shock loss to QPR

Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by PA

Bruce regrets not changing winning team after shock loss to QPR

Steve Bruce’s worst fears materialised as he watched Aston Villa slump to a surprise 3-1 home defeat to a smart, revitalised QPR team.

Villa could not follow up Saturday’s 4-1 thumping of leaders Wolves as Ryan Manning and Jake Bidwell struck in the first half and Luke Freeman killed the game off before James Chester’s consolation.

“It was always my fear that this would happen after last Saturday’s win over Wolves,” admitted Bruce.

“I toyed and toyed about making changes. With hindsight I should have done. I blame myself because I always thought it would be difficult to get the bandwagon rolling again.

“I thought about making five or six changes but the way we won on Saturday weighed against me. My experience told me that the third game in a week was too much.

“We never got started and all of a sudden it was one of those awful evenings. It was mental after the Lord Mayor’s show at the weekend.

“We had to be prepared to go again and we didn’t get anywhere near the heights that we achieved against Wolves. It was a struggle all evening.

“There is still a long way to go. We move forward and go again and that is a feature of the Championship.

“No disrespect to Queens Park Rangers to come and do what they did to us. If you are not ready any team can beat us, as we found out against Rangers when we made a mess of the game.”

Villa had no answer to the inspirational play of teenager Ebere Eze, who was compared to former Hoops favourite Stan Bowles by delighted manager Ian Holloway.

“For a 19-year-old to produce that kind of performance made me really proud,” he said.

“He has wonderful ability. He is what every QPR fan cries out for, someone like Stan Bowles. It is wonderful to see but we have to teach him how to win. He floats and is very easy on the eye.”

The match had been rearranged from March 3 due to snow and Holloway quipped: “Villa caught us cold the other week. They made us come up from London when they said the game was on.

“We had an eight-hour wait on the side of the motorway so you can say it was payback time for us!

“To be three up against Villa away from home after watching what they did to Wolves at the weekend was a bit of a shock.

“We only had four attacks in the first half and scored twice. We were clinical and the lads I put in did their job.

“I have a lot of belief in my players and they showed a massive bit of character after losing to Nottingham Forest at home.

“We have worked hard and the lads were magnificent. My back four were outstanding.”


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