Well that was eventful, wasn’t it? The Second City derby caught the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but Jack Grealish’s winner keeps Villa on a vein of form that could make them dark horses in the race for the play-off spots.
They’ve moved from 11thto eighth with the 1-0 win against their biggest rivals, and they now sit just four points behind sixth-placed Derby County. Since Grealish’s return against the Rams last weekend, Villa have looked a revitalised team geared up for a play-off fight, and it’s hard to see who can stop them.
It wasn’t a world-beating performance on Sunday, but it didn’t have to be. It’s a derby game where any win will do, and that’ll give the squad so much confidence going into the final few pressured months of the campaign. Dean Smith will know they need to continue the run and build up momentum because otherwise, it’ll be too late
Their next game comes away at Nottingham Forest who have won their last four home games, so that’ll certainly be tough, but there’s no better way to go into it than on the back of a derby victory. This momentum is vital in the race for the play-offs and games coming thick and fast means it’s ideal for a team to pick up pace.
A club Villa’s size needs promotion soon before it has to really downscale and become a more Championship-suited business, but that’s not acceptable at Villa Park. They have a major chance now to grab the league by the horns and put themselves in a position to fight for a spot in next season’s Premier League.
They’ve proved they’re capable of putting in performances to win high-pressure games against respected sides in the division, but now it’s time to add consistency and make the step towards the play-offs they know they’re capable of.
Villa fans, where do you think the club is capable of finishing in the Championship this season? Join the discussion by commenting below.