Steve Bruce blasts ‘lethargic’ Aston Villa display at Norwich

Date published: Wednesday 14th December 2016 11:04

Steve Bruce: Unhappy with his players

Steve Bruce: Unhappy with his players

Steve Bruce accused his Aston Villa side of “not putting their boots on” after seeing them go down 1-0 to Norwich at Carrow Road.

The visitors turned in a desperately disappointing display in front of the television cameras, barely registering a shot on goal, and the Canaries fully deserved the win secured for them by Nelson Oliveira’s 62nd-minute strike.

“I can accept getting beat, what I can’t accept is players not putting their boots on, not turning up,” said the angry Villa boss.

“We did not do enough with the ball or without it and we got exactly what we deserved from the game – nothing.

“I can’t remember a chance, I can’t remember a cross going into their box, and the number of times we gave the ball away was totally unacceptable.

“Everything was set up for us after our late winner against Wigan at the weekend and I thought we would go into the game bouncing, but it never happened.

“Norwich were on the back of a tough run but we didn’t put them under any pressure at all. You have got to play at a certain level if you want to play for Aston Villa and they didn’t come anywhere near to reaching that tonight.”

Bruce is now contemplating wholesale changes for Villa’s next match against QPR on Sunday.

“Having seen that I can see why the club decided to make a change and bring me in,” he said.

“It’s my responsibility to ensure there is no repeat of that performance. There are quite a few players who have travelled up and down the country without getting their chance since I have been here, but that is going to change now. There will be changes to the side on Sunday, I can assure you of that.”

Norwich manager Alex Neil was delighted with a victory which leaves them one point off the play-offs.

“I thought we started brightly and were in control for most of the first half and were totally dominant in the second and fully deserved to take the three points,” he said.

“It was a night when we stood up to the challenge like men and everyone did their jobs well.

“We have been on a poor run and I know the results have been unacceptable. But we played really well against Brentford, were good in the second half at Barnsley and have played well again this evening. I certainly think we are moving in the right direction and now we need to push on.”

As for Oliveira, Neil added: “He showed his quality again tonight. He has been excellent in the last three games and has got the goals he deserved. I knew what I was getting when I bought him and now he has settled in you are seeing what he is capable of.”

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