Under-fire Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce defends subs after Bristol City draw

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Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce heard it from the fans during and after a 1-1 draw with Bristol City, and he’s been forced to defend himself in the post-match press conference with the club struggling in Championship play.

With Aston Villa looking to snatch a late victory, Bruce withdrew striker Tammy Abraham despite four minutes remaining in regulation. The visiting Villa fans at Ashton Gate Stadium chanted “you don’t know what you’re doing” as Villa failed to score and traveled back home with just a single point.

It leaves Villa 11th in the Championship table with just a single win in its last eight matches following a pair of wins to start the season. After the game, Bruce was asked about the decision to bring off his frontman and the response from the fans, and told reporters that Abraham was suffering from an injury.

“I maybe should have taken him off earlier with a calf injury,” Bruce said in his post-match press conference. “But there is a certain element that I can’t do the right thing about anything. We are not a given to come to Bristol City and turn them over 3-0 or 4-0.”

“Thankfully I have been in it a long time and know in some people’s eyes I will never be the answer,” Bruce continued. “But the most important thing for me is the players were excellent and showed resilience. I thought we had grit and determination in abundance.”

Looking for a respite, Bruce can look to the upcoming schedule knowing he has glaring chances to halt the lowly stretch. Villa next hosts basement-dwellers Preston North End, with a visit to nearby 22nd-placed Millwall to follow.