Steve Bruce is not wrong when he says that “April will be a defining month” for Aston Villa but our poor start to the season could ultimately be what costs us this season.
With the highs of February now a distant memory, the mood amongst fans seems to have shifted to one of realism and pessimism rather than the ripe optimism which we shared just 2 games ago.
Every loss is disappointing, especially as we approach the end of the season when every point becomes even more vital. The losses against QPR and Bolton Wanderers were surprising and have burst the balloon that Villa’s hopes and expectations were soaring on.
The reason we are 7 points off an automatic promotion spot is not because of the two recent defeats. Our recent points per game tally mirrors that of our season average and let’s not forget that we have just gone on a winning run that we haven’t seen in years! No, the reason why we are adrift of the top two is that of two significant spells of poor results during the season.
These wobbles occurred at the start of the season and during December. Let’s not forget that the team started the season with 1 win in 7 league matches, gathering just 7 points from a possible 21 and that is poor from any sides standards. Additionally, a poor December saw the club fail to win in 5 attempts, harvesting just 3 points from a possible 15.
Every team goes through a spell of poor results. Yes, we have assembled an expensive squad and expectations are quite rightly very high. However, that doesn’t give us a right to win every game in the Championship. The course of the Championship is a long, arduous slog where every point is hard fought for. It just shows that any wobbles or blips in form have to be minimal.
Due to the financial fair play ruling, Villa’s current crop of players may not get the chance for a third bite of the cherry to gain promotion. The start of the season was vital and the poor start has cost us a chance to compete for the top two. Yes, it is still mathematically possible to get there but the playoff’s look most likely.
It is critical that put an end to this mini wobble and look forward to April which will determine our future. We now have a weekend off for most of the Villa players where hopefully they can rest up, re-energise and prepare for the run in.