A simple tweet received by The Villa Underground account shortly after full time sufficiently captured the mood after the Wigan win;
— Duncan Woods (@the__DAW) March 18, 2017
Football isn’t always kind, least of all to Villa, but a win at The DW Stadium gives us a welcome return to back-to-back victories.
Victory over Wigan was also different to our recent win over Sheffield Wednesday for a number of reasons.
Arguably it was even more satisfying.
This is another welcome away win.
An away win against a side who had fired their manager & who had circled Villa as a side they needed to beat.
Many sides, irrelevant of their position in the league, have likely scoured the fixture list for our arrival on their turf.
So often have we succumbed to teams fighting for their lives, it was pleasing to see us go about our business.
If we are the change the narrative on our dreadful away form, then it will only be achieved through making wins such as this our norm.
It wasn’t always pretty. Nor need it be.
Whilst at times, particularly in the first half, we seemed to lack the drive to take the game to Wigan, we were never under any real threat.
Indeed, what chances Wigan fashioned were often as a result of our own glaring errors. Jedinak, Hourihane & Gardner (more than once) gave the ball away in positions which better teams may have punished us from.
These final games of the season are the best sandpit to experiment and iron out such issues. However, mistakes & complacency (particularly passing) must be learned from. We have aspirations for promotion next season and cannot be casual in our approach to it.
The final element is that the ethos does seem to be changing, week by week.
Whilst the performances aren’t necessarily there with any consistency just yet, the results have turned a corner. This is reassuring, not just for winnings sake, but whilst being mindful that our injury list has been massive in recent weeks.
We also appear to have a top footballer Captaining the football club finally. It was fitting that Chester’s second goal in a Villa shirt couldn’t have been better timed to give us the lead.
Further, it was a welcome sight to see Scott Hogan wheeling away having headed home. Hogan’s first goal for the club put the game to bed.
It’s another 3 points, another away win & a result that also lifts us to 12th.
Mathematically the playoffs are possible. Realistically, we should just keep our heads down and work to carry some momentum into the final games and treat them as preparations for a momentous push in 2017/18.
It’s easy to look back and think what might have been this year, but our to focus now should be solely on the future.
“It’s good to see us show a little bit of resilience. But, if we’re being honest, we’ve got to be better than what we’ve been today. At least we stuck at it and we got a win, and that’s what this league is all about.”