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Bruce concedes play-offs out of reach for Aston Villa

Steve Bruce will be hoping his team's form continues Credit: PA

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce admits the Championship play-offs are out of his side's reach despite their 1-0 win over QPR.

Jonathan Kodjia struck his 18th goal of the season to earn Villa their seventh win in eight matches and move nine points behind the top six.

But with only six matches to play this season, Bruce knows his side have left their charge too late.

Even so, he paid tribute to Kodjia as well as praising his team's defensive resilience of late.

I believe that we have given ourselves too much to do. We have got to improve with the ball particularly late in the game.

But they have found the resilience which is required in the Championship. To concede only one goal in eight games is an incredible turn around.

It is a shame we are not four or five points closer to the play-offs but that is where we are at the moment.

With six games to go we have probably given ourselves too much to do but we are making a fist of it which is good.

There is a huge emphasis on Jon [Kodjia] and the quality of his goal won us the match.

QPR had good possession and made it difficult for us and when you do not get the second goal you become edgy, the crowd become edgy and the whole thing develops into an awkward evening which for me should have been more comfortable.

– Steve Bruce

Blackburn and Aston Villa earn wins

Tony Mowbray will be happy. Credit: PA

Blackburn moved above Lancashire rivals Wigan at the lower end of the table with a 1-0 win over Derby.

A Craig Conway penalty proved decisive as Blackburn moved to 33 points, the same as 21st-placed Bristol City. But Rovers have a game in hand.

Derby are now 10 points adrift of the play-off places.

City were beaten 2-0 by Aston Villa, who won for a second successive game to move nine points clear of the drop zone.

Jonathan Kodjia and Conor Hourihane were on target for Villa.

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