Bruce dismay at first half showing

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Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has revealed that he was dismayed with his players for the first half of their 2-2 draw against Aston Villa, but that they made amends in the second.

Bruce's men were outplayed for an hour of the Midlands derby, but a spate of substitutions and some real grit saw Blues cancel out a two-goal deficit to earn a morale-boosting point with virtually the last kick of the game.

"I think there was a few choice words to be said at half time," said Bruce.

"We just didn't start. After half time we went two down because of a great strike and I thought 'we need a reaction'.

"The substitutions helped. I thought that the two lads [Clinton Morrison and David Dunn] would give us that chance.

"Clinton is playing well but because of his exertions in midweek with Ireland I put him on the bench.

"Early on I thought we were second to the ball and I couldn't believe it was a Birmingham performance.

"In a big game you are not expecting things to be at their prettiest, but you have to make sure you compete.

"I thought we only had the keeper, a centre forward and Kenny Cunningham playing anywhere near what we are used to in the first half."