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Aston Villa: Ashley Preece makes mentality claim

Aston Villa: Ashley Preece makes mentality claim -Aston Villa

Aston Villa correspondent Ashley Preece believes there is a mentality ‘issue’ at Bodymoor Heath following the club’s recent poor form.

The Lowdown: One win in eight…

Steven Gerrard has struggled in recent months following an extremely positive start to life in the Midlands.

Could Villa soon find themselves in a relegation battle?

Yes, it's not looking good!

Yes, it's not looking good!

No, we'll be fine!

No, we'll be fine!

Villa have won just one of their last eight fixtures in all competitions since Boxing Day, picking up just one point in their last three Premier League fixtures against Leeds, Newcastle and Watford.

Both Newcastle and Watford edged Villa with one-goal wins, with Gerrard now preparing his side to see out the month with a trip to Brighton on Saturday.

The Latest: Preece’s comments

Preece relayed a Q&A in a story for Birmingham Live on Tuesday morning.

One Villa fan asked him for his thoughts on a possible mentality problem while also making a claim on John McGinn moving into Douglas Luiz’s holding role. This is what Preece had to say in reply, believing mentality is an ‘issue’.

“Mentality is clearly an issue here, whether that’s Gerrard’s expectations being perhaps too high for the group – or the players themselves going into their shells/lacking confidence off the back of the fierce and public criticism they’ve received. Something’s not right. Mentality… Watkins, for example, has been struggling of late. I think it’s the same for a lot of the group. Luiz, yes, I see where you’re getting at with that. McGinn’s been morphed into a right-back at times, asked to ping cross-field passes to Digne. There’s just no real options to come in. Sanson needs a crack now.”

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How well do you know Villa’s transfer business on strikers? First up, how much did Darren Bent cost in 2011? *Fees from Transfermarkt*

The Verdict: Changes needed?

Gerrard made just one change against Watford from the defeat at Newcastle, so this weekend could be the right time for the Villa boss to make multiple changes.

Danny Ings came in for Ollie Watkins on Saturday, and you’d expect the likes of Ashley Young, Carney Chukwuemeka, Morgan Sanson and Leon Bailey could all be in line for rare starts this weekend.

Bertrand Traore is also hoping to return to action from injury against the Seagulls, so Gerrard isn’t exactly short of options if he wants to switch things up from the off.

In other news: One report has outlined the probability of Philippe Coutinho signing on a permanent basis.


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