Two victories against promotion rival’s Middlesbrough and Bristol City have sweetened the mood around B6. Not only that, but the manner of the victory against Bristol City has temporarily at least, given renewed faith that we the team can succeed under Steve Bruce.
The anti-Bruce brigade will want the manager to keep the attacking mindset within the team and try to blow teams away with our quality. The pro-Bruce supporters will say that these results are a sign of entrusting faith with the gaffer.
After a largely disappointing December, the second half of the season now holds hope and realism about a promotion push. At the start of the season, Bruce commented on how he wanted to build the team around Jack Grealish. However, a pre-season injury put paid to these plans. It’s clear now that Grealish is fit again, that these plans could be vital to Villa’s final league position.
Grealish has been fantastic since returning. Keen to always have the ball and wanting to attack and create, he is a one player capable of dictating games. If he can stay fit then our fortunes are definitely looking up.
Scott Hogan suddenly seems rejuvenated, his confidence is back and more importantly, he is getting service with which to thrive on. Keinan Davis has looked lost in past games, perhaps a sign of carrying the striking burden all by himself.
Opposition teams have to work hard to score against us. We have conceded the 3rd fewest goals in the league and now that the individual errors have diminished, we aren’t giving away sloppy goals.
By taking former Stoke midfielder, Glenn Whelan out of the team, we look more controlled in midfield. Mile Jedinak has taken his place and should remain there providing he can stay fit. The manager must also stick with the impressive Conor Hourihane who seems to be our legs in that department.
There will always be highs and lows in the Championship. We won’t win every game but with the squad we have, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be trying to do so.
Let’s hope the players stay fit and Bruce keeps the shackles off his charges to let them play with attacking threat. The club needs stability and the team needs us fans to get behind them and the manager by keeping the faith.