Contributed By Korben O’Brien | Editor: Dan Rogers
Villa are back in B6 this Saturday afternoon against championship rivals Derby County at Villa Park.
Whilst the season has drifted badly since the turn of the year, Villa welcome the return of Jack Grealish and hopefully a competitive edge with it.
Albert Adomah scored his first goal of the season as Aston Villa earned a point at Stoke City, although the second half showing at the Bet365 Stadium should have really yielded all three.
Dean Smith’s team were 1-0 down at the break after going behind to an early Sam Vokes goal, whilst Alan Hutton was off the field through injury.
Villa started the second half brightly and the pressure paid dividends as Adomah slotted home after a lovely move, finishing a well worked El Ghazi cross.
Whilst the performance was widely regarded as an improvement on recent showings, this was another draw that Villa and Smith could really could’ve done without.
This weekend Villa take on Derby County who have taken a dip in form recently and have only won one of their last six championship games, drawing two and losing three.
Likewise Villa have only won one out of their last six championship games, which is clearly not good enough, and need to improve vastly to gain momentum between now and the end of the season.
The reality is that we simply have to put a run of wins together if we are to keep our very faint play-off hopes alive. This is of course not mathematically impossible, but realists will agree looks increasingly remote with each week that passes.
This week Dean Smith delivered the news every Villa fan has been craving, Jack Grealish will finally make his injury comeback.
The 23-year-old playmaker has been absent from the squad since coming off with an injury against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in early December, missing 14 games in total.
Tom Carroll is also in contention for his home debut at Villa Park.
Dean Smith also admitted that he is still working hard on creating the right culture at Aston Villa, he said
I believe there is a good culture at this club but within that there has to be a togetherness of all pushing in the same direction, because it is very difficult if you do not do that.
You can’t have individuals and you almost certainly can’t have fragmentation of any sort.
Aston Villa 1-0 Derby County – Anwar El Ghazi scoring the goal for Villa.
- Aston Villa League position 13th ( 45 points)
- Derby County league position 7th ( 51 points)
- Derby have only kept 3 clean sheets in their last 10 matches
- Villa have only won one of their last 10 matches
- Lovre Kalinic will be available to face Derby on Saturday