Reactions - Aston Villa v Bristol City (2/1/18)
Following yesterday's clash between Aston Villa and Bristol City, here are the instant reactions from both managers.
Aston Villa hosted Bristol City at Villa Park on New Year's Day (January 1, 2018), with the hosts taking a five nil victory and it wasn't just Villa fans who didn't see that coming, Bristol City fans didn't either.
Possession may have been balanced in the game at 50% each but Villa deserved their victory dominating chances overall and shots on target but no doubt Lee Johnson will believe 'we have to write it off as one game to far' given the fixture crush and their Cup efforts, and whilst disappointing it won't ruin his season.
It could however save Steve Bruce's with another reference to 'a week away from a crisis' which left many fans wondering if the dig was aimed at them or CEO Keith Wyness and owner Dr Tony Xia given their twitter messages ahead of the last game.
Villa's biggest win of the season came via goals from Scott Hogan, Birkir Bjarason, Conor Hourihane and a brace from Robert Snodgrass and it was only the Robins' fifth defeat of the year.
Johnstone, El Mohamady Abdel Fattah, Elphick, Chester, Hutton, Jedinak, Snodgrass, Hourihane, Grealish (O'Hare 80), Adomah (Bjarnason 70), Hogan (Hepburn-Murphy 83).
Taylor, Steer, Bree, Davis.
Steele, Wright, Flint, Baker, Magnusson (Kelly 45), Brownhill, Smith, Pack (Taylor 45), Bryan, Paterson (Woodrow 79), Reid.
Eliasson, O'Leary, Vyner, Leko.
Speaking to the BBC's cameras a short time after match day referee Andy Davies blew the final whistle, Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce explained.
'I am delighted for a lot of individuals who it hasn't quite happened for - you get a little bit of confidence and all of a sudden they look really good footballers again. It can be daunting to play at Aston Villa when it isn't going for you. The goal settles everybody down and in the end it becomes comfortable. There was a big turning point after half-time when they had a chance to score and it might have become a bit nervous and edgy. Overall, to come a beat a very good side who are above us in the league was terrific.'
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson in his comparative interview explained.
'Today we were superb for the first 20 minutes until we conceded the first goal. It was the bit after that which gave me frustration because I thought we stopped playing and stopped the belief just because of one goal. That shouldn't have happened. After half time I have to take responsibility personally for the third and fourth goal, I went gung-ho if you like to try get back in the game. I can't go in and chastise the players because they have been unbelievable and they are great lads. They give everything and they will continue to give everything again. We have to write it off as one game too far.'
He continued, rather hilariously:
He said: "This was a game too far for us. You try and run two half marathons in two days, with all the speed, tempo, guile, skill and environment.
"It was interesting to hear the Villa fans mocking us, Bruce flicking the ball all over the gaffe - we're still three points above them. Let's see where we are at the end. We've got to use that as ammunition."