Aston Villa are in action on Friday evening once more this week and we host Bolton Wanderers at Villa Park as head coach Dean Smith looks to bring an end to successive defeats and get us back to winning ways in the Championship.
Really need to get this mini-interview feature properly up and running once again this year as it’s always interesting to have an outside perspective on the season Villa are having and the thoughts of future opponents as we head towards our next match and it usually sparks some interesting discussion.
This time, obviously, it’s Bolton fan Anthony Hart and he joins us from Vital Bolton, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone!
It’s just how we roll.
1) What is your opinion of Aston Villa and do you enjoy the visit to Villa Park?
I don’t mind Villa, my dad isn’t a hardcore football fan by any stretch but they are actually his team so this fixture has more riding on it for me personally. Villa Park is one of the better grounds for me, the last time I went was in 2012 when we came back from behind to win and your fans lost it with Alex McLeish. We still ended up going down though…
2) How are Bolton doing this season in relation to your expectations on where they should be?
We’re about right I think. I thought it would be a struggle but we’re capable of staying up. Our form is a worry though, we’ve won one of our last 11, which needs to improve, otherwise I may end up joining the growing ranks who are losing patience with Phil Parkinson. But at the moment, our league position is simply a reflection of the quality of our squad.
3) Who do Villa need to watch out for on Friday night?
Pawel Olkowski. Two seasons ago he was part of the Cologne squad who finished fifth in the Bundesliga, but he left after they were relegated last term. He’s as good as any attacking threat we have despite the fact he plays right back. His early season form has also seen him get back into the Polish squad. Also, whoever plays up front will be a handful as all three strikers are big men.
4) Who do you rate at Villa, any players you feel will cause you problems?
It’s an easy answer but Jack Grealish would be the stand out for me. I watched your game against QPR last week and seemed to be the one Villa player they couldn’t keep quiet. Whoever you play down the right will be a danger as left-back is a real problem position. We’ve three in the squad (Andy Taylor, Jonathan Grounds and Lloyd Dyer) and all of them have struggled. You’ve got lots of good players though and need to be doing far better than you are in the league.
5) And finally, score prediction?
A very optimistic 1-1.
With thanks to Anthony, I’ll edit in the return interview when I see it go up.