Last season Derby County needed 75 points to grab the final play-off spot. To put that into context for this season, Aston Villa would need to win nine of their remaining 11 games to hit the same tally.
Considering they’ve only managed three wins in their last 15 games, it’s a long, long, shot, but hey, Jack’s back and this season’s tally for points to get sixth place maybe a few less than last season.
MOMS though won’t even start to entertain talking about play-offs again unless Villa beat both the Blues and Forest in their next two games.
It’s the kind of sentiment that Dean Smith seems to agree with, despite his earlier “obsession” with finishing top two, or at least top six.
“I said to the players before hand [the Derby game], I’m not even going to talk about the play offs or the top six,” said Villa’s Head Coach, after the 4-0 win over the Rams.
“We’ve had too many false dawns so far, where we’ve not won as many games as I would like to where we’ve dominated games.
“We’ve just got to take each game at a time. Today was a really good performance, all the small decisions the players had to make they made really well.”
Last season after 35 games, the sixth place team was Sheffield United on 58 points (Villa were on 63 points). Bristol City, currently in sixth place this season, have 54 points, although they have a game in hand.
There are more teams in the play-off picture this season, so that in turn, potentially lowers the points needed and makes it more difficult with more teams with something to play for.
Villa are currently 11th, but have three teams below them with a game in hand, that could propel them above Villa.
It would be a feat of Harry Houdini proportions if Villa appeared in this Championship play-offs, so it’s nothing to get excited about or even talk about at this juncture.
As Smith says, “We’ve got to take it one step at a time. Let’s go to Birmingham next game and see how we can do there.”