Kodjia scored 20 goals last term but is unavailable for the opening weeks of the new season as he recovers from ankle surgery, and in his absence Villa wasted a host of chances during this afternoon's 1-1 draw with Hull City.
Andre Green in particular was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance from two yards out, and Bruce admitted that his side need to take their chances with more regularity if they are to achieve their goals this season.
"We've created a lot of chances - and some really good opportunities too - and at this level you have to stick them away. It's a problem that blighted us last season and it has raised its head again today. We relied too heavily on Kodj who we don't have at the moment," he told reporters.
"That is one of those that falls into the bracket, 'how did he miss'? It's disappointing that we didn't kill the game off in the first 20-25 minutes because we had enough chances to win two football matches. If we have an Achilles heel then it's taking chances and scoring goals, especially when we are on top and in the ascendancy.
"Even before we scored we'd had two one-on-one chances. We came very close to blowing them away. We didn't and then a decent side, which Hull are, will always come back at you at some stage. It happened too often last season to be successful. If you score first you have to go on to win. I think it happened eight times last season. I think we were in front in 15 matches but only went on to win seven or eight of them. We have to improve on that. We have to improve on sticking the ball in the back of the net."
The match also saw John Terry make his competitive debut for the club following his summer switch from Chelsea, and Bruce was happy with the veteran defender's display.
"John will give us huge experience, he didn't put a foot wrong. That kind of big experience is what's needed at a big club like ours, with the expectation and anxiety around the place at times," he added.
Villa's next Championship game comes away to Cardiff City next Saturday.