One issue we’ve had even before we were relegated is putting in the performances and, thus, getting the results when it matters. It’s great smashing a few teams during pre-season or in the Cups, playing some nice stuff when it doesn’t matter that much, but we need to build on last weekend’s performance and start turning this good feeling into a winning habit.
We had the lowest of lows when we couldn’t even muster a performance against Luton Town last Wednesday. The loss visibly hurt the players but that low was quickly washed away by a stellar performance against a weakened Rotherham United. That feeling of winning, at home at a supportive Villa Park, is something those Villa players need to capture and hold on to if we’re going to go straight back up this season.
As disgraceful as some players were last season (form wise especially), I think it’s vitally important we keep a few of them in the squad so they can communicate and use last season’s low as the motivation to get back to the Premier League. It seems that this has happened, with the likes of Ashley Westwood, Rudy Gestede, Leandro Bacuna and Jack Grealish seemingly all set to stay at Aston Villa.
We’re in a prime position to focus on getting back to where we belong with some of the underperforming players we had last season and a new core group, all of whom are eager to show their worth to expectant fans, in the form of Pierluigi Gollini, Tommy Elphick, Aaron Tshibola and Ross McCormack.
This mix of determination from both sides of the squad means the motivation should be there to keep this winning feeling going. Everyone associated with Aston Villa needed this weekend’s win – the fans, the players and the management. I hope it kick-starts a run of strong performances and with performances will come wins, especially at this level.
The likes of Rudy Gestede and Jack Grealish looked very comfortable at this level, with defenders completely at odds with how to deal with both players and prevent them scoring their goals. With a few additions and the right mentality to keep the squad in check, we could be in for a fun season.