If somebody had offered you two or three points for the QPR (h) and Bolton (a) games beforehand, you would have said, ‘no, thanks’. Forget this meaningless mythology of Steve Bruce’s favourite catch phrase of “it’s the Championship”, for a team seriously aiming for automatic promotion in the run-in, four or six points should be a realistic aim.
To get none is a hammer blow to such automatic promotion hopes.
After beating Wolves, the local press articles have been about how ‘fans have got their Villa back’ and why Aston Villa will have nerves of steel for the run-in.
A few days later, they were proven to all be empty words. ‘Nerves of steel’ looked more like jelly, while the only Villa that fans have now is one in 4th spot of the Championship, that is made up of a temporary assortment of loanees and players in their twilight.
At Villa Park against QPR, both players and supporters expected victory. With a flat atmosphere and performance, both didn’t seem to do much about achieving it.
It’s good to be winning more than we draw or lose, but lets not start jerking ourselves off just yet until we’ve actually achieved something.
Wolves was just a battle, it wasn’t the war.
Cardiff City can lose three games now (including their game in hand against Derby) and still have their destiny in their own hands. While they still have some tricky fixtures, they have momentum and spirit. Then there’s Fulham, who have now leapfrogged Villa in the table and have a much easier fixture list.
It’s looking like the play-offs and only the severely rose-tinted will be convinced of that we still have a firm claim for automatic promotion.
So as we head into an international break to lick our wounds, here’s five reasons to be cheerful.
Promotion is Promotion
Yes, Villa should be getting automatic promotion. That’s why they got the players in that they did and have a high wage bill, because of them. But if automatic promotion proves too difficult for Bruce (but maybe not for Warnock using far fewer resources), then there’s always the play-offs.
Villa’s players have proved they can turn-up on the big occasions. Their two best performances this season have been in the two Villa Park local derbies against the Blues and Wolves, which also had our biggest crowds of the season.
So there is hope…even though the Tony Pulis revived Middlesbrough and the unbeaten form team in 2018, Fulham will also be in them.
Villa boss Steve Bruce has been moaning about the timing of the international break, but if ever Villa needed a time to refocus, it’s now. The international break in MOMS view came at the right time. Two losses couldn’t become three losses in such a short space of time.
Villa have won seven games on the trot this season before, it needs to happen again. Cardiff have lost four on the trot, that too needs to happen again. While Fulham need to return to their 2017 form, rather than 2018.
The International break also means one of our main men that we lost to a previous international break, could be involved by the end of the season.
Spring is Coming
Good news for our fair weather millionaire players. After the international break, spring weather will finally be here (surely?). No more beasts from the east or snow blindness.
Villa’s players can retire their gloves, snoods and tights, as they set about trying to win out the rest of the season.
Even eight wins out of the remaining eight games might not be a enough, but it would be a bloody good start! There really is no margin for error now.
It doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things, but James Chester has bagged a goal in three successive games – Sunderland, Wolves and QPR.
The pick of his three was his sublime top bin finish for the consolation goal against QPR, after a cut back from Snodgrass.
It’s always good to have goals in the team across the board.
If Chester is on a goal bonus, at least someone got something from this week.
Warnock Pile Up
Cardiff City had actually made the trip to Derby this Sunday for the fixture that was postponed due to the snow. Neil Warnock wasn’t too impressed that the game was called off and now his team faces an even more congested April.
“We got to the ground and the car park was clear, the pitch was perfect. Absolutely disgraceful really,” said Warnock.
Warnock also isn’t happy that his team have to play on the Friday night straight after the international break, with some of his players only due to return on Wednesday/Thursday.
“No team going for promotion should play on a Friday coming back off the international break, it’s pathetic,” he said.
Regardless, Cardiff will still fancy themselves at home against Burton.
With Warnock, you don’t know if such inconveniences are disadvantages though, as they just seem to focus and fire him up even more.
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