Aston Villa fans have started to be realistic about their squad and their chances and it shows. The Villains travelled to the Bet365 Stadium yesterday to take on Stoke City and after falling a goal behind after just five minutes they pulled a goal back to draw 1-1 in the second half, taking a valuable point back to Birmingham with them.
It ends all square. @OfficialTM_3 almost snatches a winner at the death, but Butland saves his looping header. A good display by Villa, who grew into the game the longer it went on. Albert Adomah with the equaliser. We take a deserved point.#PartOfThePride pic.twitter.com/S5aP4AOxu3
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) February 23, 2019
This time last year a lot of the Villa fans would have been screwing had they not been able to find a winner in a game like yesterday, but the fans are wising up to their situation. Dean Smith is operating with a large number of loanees in a squad that he inherited mid-season who less than a year ago looked like they’d be facing bankruptcy before Nassef Sawiris came in, so it’s not all bad.
In fact, Smith is probably the best man they could have got in for the job and so far he’s managed superbly. The players he’s brought in and the way he’s managed this Villa squad has been superb, despite the fact he’s been ravaged by injuries, and the well-earned point against a side like the Potters who still boast plenty of Premier League calibre players after their relegation last year is no easy feat.
You can read the contented Villa fans’ comments after their point on the road yesterday here:
Take that being 1-0 down and not having previously scoring a goal this year, should kick a bit of confidence into players. UTV
— Callum (@_Callumgordon) February 23, 2019
great second half
— chlo (@chloeavfc_) 23 February 2019
Two very poor sides. Massive summer ahead of us. UTV
— Josh (@JoshJones_1998) February 23, 2019
Good overall performance that, but Stoke were there for the taking and offered nothing in the second half so it feels like 2 dropped points. UTV
— Steve Holland (@hollasteve1) February 23, 2019
Awesome. This team is going places #utv
— Gaz (@gazvilla2010) 23 February 2019
People saying not good enough make me laugh. With 6 first starters absent through suspension or injury against a team who have a plethora of last seasons Premier league players. No team under a new manager clicks straight away. Especially with a squad full of has beens.
— eddie johnson (@eddiej1981) February 23, 2019
The Villains will be well aware of how hard the task of promotion is and will have to start being more accepting of important draws like this one on the road.