With Aston Villa, unfortunately, becoming the Christmas turkeys in our last match as we faced a good Leeds United side, Boxing Day saw us make the trip to Wales to face off against Swansea City at their Liberty Stadium.
Looking to get back to winning ways, that was exactly what head coach Dean Smith’s side did with Conor Hourihane finding the back of the net once again in the second half of the match to secure all three points for the journey back.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) December 26, 2018
The hosts had the first half in fairness, but we did improve and although they edged the stats on the day, we got the only statistic that mattered to lift ourselves back into tenth place in the Championship table and we are again only three points from the Play-Off spots, so we have to be happy with that.
Especially with goalkeeper Orjan Nyland taking the headlines as he stopped a late penalty to take the clean sheet.
Speaking to the BBC following the match, a more pleased Smith explained.
“I thought we showed another side to our game, which has been questioned at times – our grit and defensive resilience. He (Nyland) been doing very well of late. Everyone knows we’ve signed another goalkeeper to put competition in an area we want to strengthen, and that’s what it’s doing for Orjan. Credit to him and the goalkeeping department because they do a lot of work on penalties and they’d predicted he would go that way. He’s ended up making a good save which has won us the game.”