Villa’s 2-1 win against Fulham finally signalled the club’s intentions to be in the promotion places come the end of the season.

After the Wolves loss, it was important to show that was just a bad day at the office, and Steve Bruce made the necessary formation change to get the win.

While the Villa team isn’t totally convincing yet, it’s certainly a set up from last season.

Villa player ratings and match highlights

Next up is the Blues derby. With Small Heath struggling at the bottom of the league, it’s time to get a St Andrews away win on the board.

The Blues beat Cardiff City the other week at home, so it’s not going to be easy, but teams who want automatic promotion should win there.

Until then, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villans…

1. Plan B

It was the formation I’d expected at Molineux against Wolves last week, but Bruce has finally cottoned on to the fact one formation does not fit all games.

The 4-4-2 should work against several of the bottom-half teams in the division, but against those who can play a bit, the extra midfielder gives Villa a bit more support in midfield to press and to help prise open tougher defences.

The Athleticism, energy and sharp eye of Onomah certainly is a keen asset in that respect, and the Spurs loanee almost opened Fulham up several times in the first half.

I would probably use the same formation again, against the Blues.

2. Control

For large periods of the game early on, Villa controlled the midfield and probed the Fulham rearguard fairly well. While not total football, it was certainly a step up from say the previous home game against Bolton.

A bit more freedom of expression from midfielders would certainly improve things further.

3 Terry’s First

Will it be a pub quiz question in years to come? Which team did John Terry score his first non-Chelsea goal for?

Well, at least you know the answer to it.

It was a good free-kick delivery from Hourihane and a decent head from Terry, who should chip in with a more goals yet this season

4. Finally…

It’s been a wait of over a season but Villa are finally in the promotion places.

While it’s early days, it would be disappointing to drop out of them now, any time until the end of the season.

Automatic promotion should be the goal. Believe.

5. Unbeaten

Reading, Barnsley and Ipswich. What do these clubs have in common? They were the teams to beat Villa at Villa Park. No disrespect, but they’re not the greatest of teams, so it added to the disappointment of not being unbeaten at home last season.

This season, it’s so far, so good, after seven home fixtures. If Villa can get to the end of the season unbeaten, then an automatic promotion place should be in the offering.

Make it so.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Not sure if my ironic comments about Kodjia’s usual selfishness passed you by Colin, or whether you was joining in with the irony. Difficult to interpret the tone of comments made online sometimes. Anyway, as for next weeks game, I long for the time when Small Heath were irrelevant to our fortunes. Yes, I desperately hope we beat them, by a huge margin. But the biggest games of our season now look more likely to be Wolves at home, Cardiff at home, and games against other play-off contenders. I agree about keeper and left back cover. Johnstone will possibly not sign for us permanently at the end of his loan, and while Hutton had a great game at Wolves, our left side looked really vulnerable yesterday when Fulham attacked down that wing.

  2. If you say so personally I thought it was a miss kick, I see that Bruce is prepared to break the Bank for Onomah but I think he should also be considering our goal keeper and left back cover. Anyway not a Bruce fan but to be fair a good result yesterday, and now with our biggest match of the season next weekend we need to be right at it from the get go.

  3. 6. Kodjia’s improved awareness of the team mates around him. Brilliant disguised pass for Adomah’s goal 😉

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