Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Steve Bruce has urged Aston Villa to not return to relying on the goals of Jonathan Kodjia in the Sky Bet Championship.
Kodjia has recently returned from a broken ankle, and scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot on Saturday, as Villa recorded a 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers.
Villa have been in exceptional form over the last month, winning four consecutive fixtures, which has moved them up to seventh – one point outside the Championship’s play-off zone.
A number of Bruce’s squad have chipped in with goals whilst Kodjia regains his full fitness, with Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane both grabbing five goals across all competitions so far this season.
Bruce encouraged his side to not return to relying on Kodjia, whose 19 Championship goals last season kept Villa clear of the relegation zone, he said: “I think there are more goals in the team now.
“Hourihane has got five this season, (Robert) Snodgrass will always get goals, Albert has done well in the last few weeks and it’s good to see.
“We can’t keep relying on Kodjia.
“If he didn’t score last season, we didn’t. That’s pretty straightforward stuff. Without Kodjia’s goals last year, we would have been in a sad place.”
Villa’s impressive run of victories has seen them score 10 goals, and whilst attacking talent including Kodjia, Adomah, Hourihane and Snodgrass continue to impress, Bruce’s defence have only conceded one goal in that time.
The Championship takes a break this weekend, with international fixtures taking centre stage.
Kodjia will be one of a number of players away from Villa in the coming week, with the striker representing the Ivory Coast.
Despite worry surrounding Villa slipping into their old ways and relying on Kodjia, Bruce will be confident that the attacking players around the Ivorian can score a considerable amount of goals this season.
Undoubtedly, Bruce’s side would have been fighting relegation last season if it wasn’t for Kodjia’s goals, and this year, there is a real chance that the striker’s goals could be the difference between mid-table and a promotion push.
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