Aston Villa were in fine form heading into last week’s international break, with Dean Smith’s side securing four wins on the bounce to spark their promotion push back into life.
So, the international break probably came at the wrong time for Villa, who were the side with all the momentum behind them in the Championship.
Nevertheless, it has given some key members of Smith’s squad a welcome break, whilst others have had the chance to represent their country in the European Qualifiers ahead of Euro 2020.
Conor Hourihane and Glenn Whelan have been amongst those, with the midfield pair in action for the Republic of Ireland last night against Georgia.
It was Hourihane who struck the winning goal in the 1-0 win, with the midfielder’s free-kick helping Mick McCarthy’s side to a second win in qualifying.
And, eyes at Aston Villa were on the pair last night, with assistant John Terry sharing an update on his Instagram story watching the Ireland game whilst receiving a massage.
Hourihane and Whelan will be expected to return to Villa in time for Saturday’s clash with Blackburn Rovers in the Championship, with the pair in a fierce battle with John McGinn and Jack Grealish for a midfield berth.
The quartet have all starred in the recent four-game winning streak, but Smith has been forced to leave one out on every occasion.
Both Hourihane and Whelan impressed for Ireland last night, with Terry surely delighted that Villa’s players were carrying their club form onto the international stage.
They will return to B6 full of confidence and looking to pick up where they left off, with Villa definitely a club on the rise at the moment.
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