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The Boss: Bruce on Preston point, Grabban penalty, Snodgrass substitution and Adomah/Grealish

Match report: Villa 1-1 Preston #WednesdayWisdom: Bruce on Grabban - He gave us a spark
The Boss: Bruce on Preston point, Grabban penalty, Snodgrass substitution and Adomah/Grealish

Steve Bruce spoke to Club TV following the 1-1 draw with Preston at Villa Park.

His thoughts are below in full.

On the match itself...

We have to be fairly pleased we've come away with the draw.

We could have nicked it at the death but I think that would have been unjust.

In the first half we found it very difficult against a really decent Preston team – you can see why they've lost just once in 16 matches.

They'll be a threat for any team, so to take four points from six against them this season is a good return.

Without the creativity and the set-up we've had in the last few months, we found it difficult and didn't have enough to hurt them.

I'm delighted with the response in the second half. We changed it round a bit, went from back to front a bit quicker and put two people up top.

It meant we got something out of the match.


On the physicality of the game...

Preston have got 70-odd yellow cards this season – more than any other team.

We knew what we were up against and in the second half in particular we matched it.

We asked them a few questions and went toe-to-toe with them.

We rode our luck at times and we nearly got a winner at the death with the chance from Keinan Davis.

It's a great ball in by Lewis Grabban and it's a chance we hope Keinan would take.

On the message at half-time...

We had to move the ball a bit quicker from back to front because they went man-for-man in the middle of the pitch. 

Preston are well balanced, and a good side.

All in all, it wasn't great, but I'm pleased with the response.

The Championship isn't great at times. You look at how we played against Birmingham just over a week ago compared to tonight – it was a lot different.

On the penalty decision...

At the time, I thought it was soft. I have to be honest. 

But when I've seen it back, the officials have got it right.

The boy has jumped into big Keinan a little bit stupidly, and they got it spot on.


On Lewis Grabban...

It was a cool finish and he brought a whole lot more to the game.

He played really well, and Villa Park didn't faze him, either.

You can see why he got goals at Sunderland – he's going to be a very decent acquisition for us. 

Him and Keinan definitely gave us something when they came on.

On injuries...

It looks like Keinan has twisted his ankle, so we'll have to see on him.

It's not great when Albert Adomah and Jack Grealish are already out. Robert Snodgrass is ill, too. 

We didn't see anything beforehand but the more he ran about the more he was feeling sick.

All of a sudden injuries to our forward players are mounting up a little bit.

But that's where we are. We'll go from there. Let's hope they're speedy recoveries.


On Sheffield Wednesday...

It's never easy to go to Hillsborough.

But when is the Championship ever easy? It's not. 

We've known that for some time now. We'll look forward to Saturday and prepare properly.

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 20th February 2018