If the Easter period already had a reputation for resurrections, 2019’s version saw the completion of Aston Villa’s remarkable feat of a once dead season sprouting into play-off life after a club-record 10 straight wins.
Villa’s 1-0 win over Millwall, that followed Good Friday’s 2-0 win at Bolton, coupled with results going their way on Easter Monday meant their play-off spot was guaranteed.
With Derby County still to play Bristol City, only one of those teams have a chance of joining Villa in the play-offs, if they better Middlesbrough’s points total.
Due to Villa’s superior goal difference to their rivals (+22), only Derby County can now finish above them in the chasing pack of teams, but that would need Villa to lose their remaining two games and Derby to win their remaining three.
Fifth place is certainly the likely finish for Villa this season, which would secure a two-leg play-off semi-final against West Brom, who themselves secured a play-off berth with a lacklustre goalless draw against Reading this weekend.
In MOMS opinion, the semi-final will present perhaps Villa’s toughest challenge of the season, not only have Villa failed to beat the Baggies this season, but the second leg is likely to be at the Hawthorns. If Villa get through that and have their key players fit and available, they’ll fancy their chances against any team at Wembley in the final.
When Villa’s winning run had reached nine, after their Bolton away win, comparisons were made to the previous Championship team to chalk up nine wins on the trot, Leicester City in the 2013-14 season.
After the run had helped them gain promotion from the Championship, two seasons later, the Foxes went on to win the Premier League title.
Whether Villa can continue the winning mentality and morale through to the Premier League, if they are successful in the play-offs, may depend if they can keep the majority of their loan players.
Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham, Anwar El Ghazi, Axel Tuanzebe and Kortney Hause have all played their part alongside Captain Grealish in the recent turnaround, and there’s no doubt Villa would like to keep as many of their current crop of young and eager loanee players as possible in their continued squad building.
With two tune up games against Leeds United and Norwich City, before the play-offs, there certainly are an exciting few weeks ahead for Villans after early-to-mid season despair.
Deano will know if he needs to rest players. I think we need to maintain the momentum and try to get ahead of the baggies get the 2nd leg at home. Successful players don’t feel tired. I for one was never thought we would get much above half way 10 games ago. We never looked like winning 2 on the trot let alone 10. My god I have been proved wrong. I think the biggest difference has been Mings. Not only is he and his performances immense, his attitude for a loan club is incredible. I’m certain he will sign for us and look forward to a full season in the premiership. I really cannot see anybody beating us.
Well done lads, you’ve done brilliantly. I was doubtful that we would make the playoffs & couldn’t be happier to be proved wrong.
I kind of agree with David, it would be nice to keep some players fresh, but wonder if Deano will want to stop the momentum and change things up. He may well do, but either way I am behind him
My final point is that for those that were so full of doubt (having not given him anything of a chance in the job) and were questioning him & his credentials for the job.
This will have shut most of you up until when we next have another blip, be it in the playoffs, premier next year or the championship again.
Either way, appreciate this bloke now & the direction he is leading us, have some patience next time & back him, even when you think you know better, which you don’t.
Well done Deano, it is down to YOU that we have this opportunity.
Well done the boys. What next, do we accept what we have and now rest and protect our top players or do we go all out to win our last two games and thereby risk injuries or possible sending offs. We certainly now have strength in depth and could give some game time to other squad members. But so many players have come good or returned from injury it will be hard to pick who to rest and who to play in whatever scenario the boss decides to go for. Certainly a much better position than a few weeks ago. It would be nice to win our two remaining fixtures, it will be interesting to see what route Deano takes, we are all behind him UTV.
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