Last week I called for the Sheffield Wednesday match to be one in which the Villans showed who they truly are.

The argument was that as the Owls were the ones to inflict our first injury this season, from which we have struggled to totally recover, they needed to experience an Aston Villa side that has turned a corner.

Fantastically, the team was able to do just that. Their red card helped but the fact is that they are legitimate promotion hopefuls and we saw them off, which is exactly what we should be doing.

So long may it continue. Let’s hope the slip up against Huddersfield Town can be banished from the memories of the players and that the great recent form continues this weekend against Wigan Athletic and =then against Norwich City after the international break, as each game carries similar symbolic weight in my book.

It dawned on me as I was thinking about the league and fixtures this week that in the time I have been supporting Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic has won more silverware. Without being too disrespectful to tomorrow’s opponents, that is profoundly wrong.

They are really struggling this year and, although I have nothing against the Latics, it is important we exploit their troubles and dispatch them.

This will of course help with league position and confidence, but will also signify that teams like Wigan Athletic really should not be troubling teams of our ilk. Another victory tomorrow would perhaps suggest a turning of the tide, which is something that we all hope is materialising even though it was not evident a month ago.

After playing Wigan Athletic, we face Norwich City, a team that, along with us, was labelled as one of the favourites to go straight back up.

They will consider themselves Premier League quality so, as with Sheffield Wednesday, it is right that we put them in their place. The Canaries are currently going through an uncertain time: having just gotten rid of their manager, they are struggling for form.

That may have changed by the time we play them but if we can see them off convincingly it will suggest that, finally, we are starting to learn that this league is not for us. We should be at a higher level.

The first challenge against Sheffield Wednesday has been achieved. If we can do similar things in our next two games then the message we will be delivering is all positive and bodes well for next year’s campaign.

Solidity and professionalism are needed and the results should come.


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