A chance for payback

In General Villa

Obviously, the winning streak wasn’t going to last for ever but I certainly feel better about things now.

The Terriers were always going to prove difficult opponents and when you look at the respective clubs’ seasons the result probably makes sense.

It would have been great to keep the good run going, of course, but we are Villa fans and we all knew that was unlikely to happen.

Despite the disappointment of the result on Tuesday, it is now a good deal less stressful to look at the league table. We are ten points above the relegation zone. While it is a still a way off being totally safe, it is very much healthier than the picture was two weeks ago.

We have now seen the negative and the positive of so many fixtures in close succession. At the start of the season, it felt like we couldn’t catch a break but when a team starts winning the thick and fast nature of life in the Championship can be a good thing as confidence increases. Three wins out of four games in quick succession is a great return and it hopefully proved to the players how much better we all expect them to play.

This weekend we face Sheffield Wednesday, the team we lost to on the first day of our first season in the Championship. That loss was very hard to stomach as many of us truly believed we had a chance of a season in which wins would no longer be rationed.

That didn’t come and we all know what has happened since – a spluttering season which has shown some signs of promise, as well as a lot of worrying flirtation with the relegation zone.

One of the good things about this season has been our home form. We have only lost two games at Villa Park this season, a markedly better statistic than those that haunted us in recent years. A continuation of our solid home form is a a crucial factor in establishing ourselves and solidifying our position in this league.

Like Huddersfield Town, Sheffield Wednesday is a club that has had a really good season.

It would be great if this weekend we could dent the play-off chances of the team that beat us in our first game of the season, desperate to claim the scalp of such a big club.

We now have to show them – and everyone else – what we are truly made of in front of our own crowd. We have had a stuttering first season in the Championship but the lion is stirring. The Owls inflicted the first wound. What does payback look like? Can we make an example of them? Let’s hope our players can answer those questions on the hallowed turf of Villa Park tomorrow afternoon.

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