Aston Villa’s goal hero from the weekend, Conor Hourihane, has been explaining why he feels the side are struggling in the Championship this season.
Steve Bruce’s side are without a win in six matches across all competitions, having lost two of their last three fixtures. That would have been three in three had it not been for the last-minute heroics of Hourihane, who cancelled out Bradley Dack’s opener against Blackburn.
Hourihane believes that to an extent, the hangover from last season’s play-off defeat is still casting a shadow over Villa Park. Speaking to the Express and Star, he said:
“The play-off final was hugely disappointing. It might take a bit of time to get going after that. A lot of the players are still here. It’s not easy.”
He believes that teams who have fallen at the final hurdle in the past have also struggled, and that it may take time for Bruce’s side to find the right balance to progress this time out.
“We have seen teams in the past who have lost play-off finals and start slowly. We have not started as quickly as we would have wanted but we have not been as slow as some. It’s about finding the right balance.”
12th placed Villa host Rotherham United this evening, themselves just a point behind the Villans in the early table.
Excuses are all well and good, but many of the talented players at Villa’s disposal were not at the club last season. Bolasie, Abraham, McGinn and El Ghazi weren’t at the club, although two of those have only played once.
The problems run deeper than a play off defeat, not having two recognised centre backs to play isn’t Fulham’s fault, nor is failing to get the best out of arguably the most talented set of attacking players at this level.