By Matt Farr
Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough has delivered an honest assessment of Aston Villa’s defensive efforts following their 1-1 draw on Saturday.
The rival Championship boss revealed to the Burton Mail that Aston Villa are a difficult side to break down defensively, but admitted his side deserved their point in Saturday’s clash.
The comments from the Burton Albion chief come after the club ended Villa’s impressive defensive record of seven clean sheets from their last eight matches – all victories.
Jonathan Kodjia had given Aston Villa an early lead, but Burton worked hard throughout the remainder of the game, and were rewarded for their efforts with Lloyd Dyer’s second half equaliser.
Clough told the Mail: “When you do go 1-0 down as early as we did, against a defence as solid as Aston Villa – they don’t give anything, they’ve been grinding out results and keeping clean sheets – it was always going to be difficult to break them down from that point.
“The last thing we wanted to do was concede early on.”
Aston Villa’s new-found defensive security under Steve Bruce has come just at right time for the club, with the Midlands-based outfit mounting a late surge towards the promotion race.
They now boast the third-best defensive record in the Championship with 40 goals conceded from their 41 games.
But a poor defensive record earlier in the season saw Aston Villa spend much of the campaign at the bottom end of the Championship table, where they have since recovered to 11th place.
Bruce’s side are now within 11 points of the play-offs with five matches still to play, so there is still a slim possibility that Villa could be rewarded for their late surge.
In other Aston Villa news, Jonathan Kodjia has delivered an encouraging update on his Burton injury on Twitter.