Preview: #ccfc (v) #avfc

The only way is up?

After a performance like we witnessed Saturday, you would like to hope so. As the table has now tightened, this fixture has suddenly become “must win”.

If there’s a positive to take ahead of the game it has to be that Cardiff look as bad, if not worse than us.

After recruiting indifferently in the summer, sacking Malkey Mackay under a cloud and deteriorating further under Solskjaer, this may be the gift Villa need.

And we desperately need a win. Any win.

To lift the club, find some form across all areas and give ourselves essential breathing space.

Whatever the motivation, we need to secure points. Most importantly do not lose, but equally do not set up for a draw. We can’t hold off Bradford, let alone Cardiff. Villa must set out to win, reset our mindset and regain some control.

We do not want to be allowing another set of results to go against us and praying for redemption against Newcastle next time out.

A loss would pose major questions and would represent a confirmed challenge being on for survival. It’s interesting to note that despite the league being tight, there are two groups forming amongst the bottom teams.

You’re either dropping like a stone (Cardiff/West Brom) or you’re finding momentum (C. Palace/West Ham).

Defeat to West Ham, and it’s manner, were unacceptable. A further defeat to genuine relegation contenders Cardiff would send shock waves.

I maintain that we have enough to hurt teams. Scoring should not be our problem with our pace. However, if we fail to be forward thinking from midfield and not pick Albrighton, we are cutting off a valuable supply route.

To his credit Albrighton has returned with a work ethic and desire to achieve not seen since he broke through. Well, now is his chance to earn a new contract. It’s worrying that none of his colleagues seem to have comparable ingenuity or determination.

At the back is our obvious and well documented weakness. Huge injury worries are the likely continued absence of Vlaar and steady loanee Bertrand. We are all avid Villa fans. But what’s left to deputise, simply terrifies. We have to hope, there’s that word again, that we are learning lessons quickly.

The alternative, is rather less appetising.

Cardiff 1 v 2 Villa.