Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane has stated a place in the play-offs is still the club’s aim, despite their disappointing form, reports the club’s official website.
Following Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Nottingham Forest, Steve Bruce’s side found themselves a lowly 14th in the Sky Bet Championship table, despite the huge investment plowed into the Villa Park ranks over the last two transfer windows.
They now trail sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday by a whopping 13-points, making any hopes they have of a late surge towards the top of the table extremely unlikely indeed.
“We’re going to have to go on a fantastic run”, he said.
“That has to be the aim until it’s mathematically impossible.”
Villa brought in seven new faces during the January transfer window, and as a top six finish becomes more unlikely, Hourihane urged his side to start building for next season now, if the Play-Offs become beyond them:
“Instead of making it a project from pre-season next season, maybe we should make it a project for now.
“We can maybe gain some months on teams going into it next season if we don’t do it this year.”
Bruce’s side find themselves just eight points clear of the relegation zone, closer to the bottom three than they are to the top six at this stage of the campaign.
Saturday’s defeat rounded off a miserable week for Villa, as they also lost 3-0 to Brentford on Tuesday night.
Next up for Bruce’s side is a game against Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town on Saturday.
Villa fans… What do you make of Hourihane’s comments? Should your club be planning for next season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!