Cast your minds back to that awful cup defeat to Boro at Villa Park. It was miserable and with only half the month gone (and only the second month of the season at that!) fans would have been forgiven for thinking chances of keeping up with the leaders would be all over bar the shouting… unless…
Three wins out of three later (making it four on the trot), and Villa restart the league campaign at the heady heights of seventh with the same goal differential (and goals scored – 17 and conceded – 10) as league leaders Cardiff.
What did Villa fans learn from the three wins that shot Villa up the table with a more optimistic outlook and more adventurous style on the field?
Albert Adomah is fast becoming the right man in the right place at the right time. His first goal was cool and calm and settle nerves early. Kodjia’s beautiful pass cannot be overlooked either.
Forest were second best most of the game and the final score flattered them, though Murphy caused Villa a few problems. Hourihane won it for Villa and it’s not an exageration to say this was a big, big win. The football had been dour even if league results were improving. A defeat here and there could easily have been scenes.
ALBION AWAY DAY
Burton Albion became the first team to really be on the end of a hiding under Steve Bruce. The 4-0 win away from home began with a debut goal from Keinan “he’s not technically one of our own” Davis and the goals kept on coming.
Elmohamady had a nice game at right back and Adomah’s fifth goal in five games (in all competitions) – along with a run of clean sheets – made this an away win to remember.
The Bolton game was sent to try the fans patience. After looking good in wins, surely bottom place Wanderers would be swept aside in a packed, passionate Villa Park and send chills through the league.
It didn’t really go that way. Dr X got his hand slapped for commenting on the ref’s inability to call fouls on Villa players and the whole mood of the game was soured by Bolton’s attitude in coming not-to-lose rather than roll the dice for a win (familiar to Villa fans for many seasons at this point).
A trip to Wolves is a tough one for sure, but a home game to Fulham is a bit less intimidating that it looked at the end of August. The third and final game of October doesn’t need much to pump it up: away at St. Andrews is always one fans look forward to.
Fans will be happy enough if Villa can take seven points from these three, and ecstatic if Villa can beat Birmingham on the back of their recent win over league leaders Cardiff in their first post-‘Arry game.
Jack Grealish and Henri Lansbury are back in full training, so the bench should have a more solid feel to it this month. Mile Jedinak should be back in the next week or so, too.
Once Neil Taylor returns from his three-match suspension, we can hopefully start next month with a full-strength team that has real options off the bench.
Follow Adam Keeble on Twitter @keebo00