By Graham Hill
TAMMY Abraham admits playing in the Championship has toughened him up as he prepares to spearhead Aston Villa’s play-off bid.
The on-loan Chelsea striker has hit 21 goals for Villa this season.
But he says he was shocked by some of the treatment he got when he first played in the second tier of the English game with Bristol City.
Abraham welcomed it in a way though – as he says it turned him into a man, even if some of the challenges made his mother cry!
The Villa striker told the Bristol Post: “So many times my mum was crying for me!
“There was one against Cardiff, it was Sol Bamba. I just touched the ball and he came straight through me. I was like, ‘whoa!’
“I was used to tackles, but not those kind of tackles.”
And it was those sort of challenges that made him realise he had to muscle up or forget about making the grade.
Abraham added: “I was trying to pin him and all sorts but he was so strong. I just remember saying, Listen I’m going to have to go to the gym or something’, I can’t hold him off.
“It was tough. But that’s where you learn and you become a man quicker.
“It’s not just always going to be easy and winning games, you have to go through the downside as well.”
Abraham has made it clear he wants to break into Chelsea’s first team this season – but he says he will use his experience of Championship football to do that.