Aston Villa enjoyed a 3-1 win at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday evening and Conor Hourihane came away with the plaudits for his performance. The 28-year-old came under criticism from some supporters earlier in the season, but his form has dramatically improved of late.
The Derby scoreline might have been more emphatic but for me that was Villa's best performance since Boro. Midfield three of Grealish, Hourihane and McGinn so dynamic. #avfc
— matt maher (@mjmarr_star) March 13, 2019
Thought Mcginn was excellent tonight along with Hourihane who put in a great shift! Defence relatively solid too ???? #AVFC
— Cormac Joyce (@joyce_cormac) March 13, 2019
Unbelievable how much better McGinn & Hourihane are when Grealish plays! #avfc
— Daniel Bowden (@DanB5826) March 13, 2019
Mcginn will take the plaudits
But i think hourihane was outstanding… #avfc
— Adam #vtid (@adam1988avfc) March 13, 2019
Hourihane has been quality tonight. He’s been everywhere #avfc
— villa_views (@villanews11) March 13, 2019
Against Forest, Hourihane made 56 touches, 38 passes with 84% accuracy, two chances, one tackle, one interception, one successful dribble and complete the joint-most crosses in the Villa side. The Ireland international also assisted Kortney Hause’s first Villa goal for his troubles.
He’s made 36 Championship appearances this season, scoring and creating 16 goals while making 56 chances. Only Tammy Abraham (21) has scored more goals (6) in the Villa side, but nobody can match Hourihane’s assists. Despite having his detractors, the midfielder is a key player under Dean Smith and looks more comfortable with Jack Grealish alongside him.
The former Barnsley man contributed in Wednesday’s win and has helped Villa move two places up the table to eighth. The Midlands outfit are now only two points adrift of the playoffs with nine games to go. They next face Middlesbrough at home on March 16 and could move into the top-six with a win.