Aston Villa star Conor Hourihane has been talking up Dean Smith’s side after they made a serious statement of intent against Middlesbrough this weekend.
Villa thumped their promotion rivals 3-0, coming off the back of the crazy 5-5 draw with Nottingham Forest. The result left them three points outside the top six, with a huge West Midlands derby with fellow promotion hopefuls West Brom to come this weekend.
Former Barnsley man Hourihane is delighted his side have passed the tests of recent weeks and is excited for what lay ahead.
We knew the game at Derby last month was the start of a tough run. We have passed a lot of tests so far, going through it,” the 27-year old was quoted by the Express and Star.
“There are still a lot of tough games to come. West Brom, Stoke and Leeds is another block of games which is going to be a tough one for us. But we will go into those games with a lot of confidence, after the results we’ve now had.”
Hourihane joined from Barnsley in January 2017, and has recently found himself thrust into the starting XI under Dean Smith. He scored in the 3-0 win at Derby which sparked the current five match unbeaten run.
Following Friday’s game at West Brom, Villa face a duo of tricky tests at home, with both Stoke City and Leeds to face before Christmas.
Villa have certainly seen a turnaround in fortunes since the new manager has come in, but he’s got some good players at his disposal. Hourihane is one who struggled to get a start under Bruce, but is thriving under the new boss.
If they go through the next three matches unbeaten they’ll make a serious statement to the rest of the division.