Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce takes responsibility for surprise defeat by QPR

Villa manager Steve Bruce reacts after a near miss during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on September 12, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce takes responsibility for last night's surprise defeat by QPR.

Villa manager Steve Bruce reacts after a near miss during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on September 12, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has told The Express and Star that Tuesday night's 3-1 home defeat by QPR is entirely on him by not making changes.

The Villans were brought back down to earth at Villa Park last night after being humbled by Ian Holloway's side, just days after thumping top-of-the-table Wolves 4-1.

Bruce named an identical first XI for the visit of the Londoners, and the veteran manager admits that it was a mistake not to freshen things up after the intensity of Saturday night's win over Wanderers.

He told The Express and Star: "It was always my fear. The euphoria of Saturday and my experience of it. I toyed and toyed with changing it.

“In hindsight I should have done. I blame myself because I always thought it would be difficult to get the bandwagon rolling again. I thought long and hard about freshening us up and making four or five changes.

Villa manager Steve Bruce reacts after a near miss during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on September 12, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

“But the manner of Saturday weight against me. They have done so well. My experience tells me the third game in a week was too much."

In losing to Rangers, Aston Villa slipped eight points behind second-placed Cardiff City in the race for the second automatic promotion spot and, with nine games to go, it seems unlikely that Bruce's side will be returning to the Premier League without the anguish of a playoff come May.

That being said, Villa are bang in form, having won eight of their last 10 Championship games, and a similar purple patch to end the season might just be enough to pip the Bluebirds if their form nosedives.

Interestingly, one of Cardiff's remaining nine games is a trip to Villa Park on April 10, so there is reason for optimism for the Villans' fanbase.

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