Having come from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday in dramatic fashion over the weekend, Aston Villa have a very important week ahead of them where they will travel to Rotherham on Wednesday before hosting Bristol City at Villa Park on Saturday.
Any slip-ups could cost Villa dearly at the moment after recording their sixth straight victory at Hillsborough on Saturday, but manager Dean Smith will know well enough not to take the likes of Rotherham likely, given the importance of the clash to both sides.
Rotherham drastically require three points to give them a chance of avoiding relegation, while Villa also need a victory ahead of their clash with Bristol due to the Robins having a game in-hand.
Smith’s men currently sit fifth in the league table ahead of Bristol and Derby County, with the Rams also having an extra game in hand.
The fact that both Bristol and Derby will have an opportunity to make up ground on Villa also adds to the pressure to pick up points at Rotherham on Wednesday.
The margin for error and dropping points will be a key motivator for Smith ahead of this deciding week and he should use the pressure to his squad’s advantage, in order for them to succeed and get maximum points from the two encounters.
With the fight for a play-off spot set to go down to the wire, every match will be equally as important from now on and the fitness and well-being of Villa’s players will also, therefore, be a huge priority for Smith and his coaching staff.
Given the tight schedule this week, after already playing away from home this past weekend, Smith could call on his bench to make a impact on Wednesday night in order to give some players less game time ahead of Saturday’s clash with Bristol.
If Villa manage to get through the week with two victories then they can really start to believe that they will secure a spot in the playoffs or even earn promotion to the Premier League.
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