Three Things – Leeds United
“Another dismal performance on Tuesday is swiftly followed by the Friday evening visit of Leeds United, fallen giants themselves and perennial under-achievers.
Ordinarily, you might think this is the ideal opportunity to get back on the horse, so to speak (although ‘donkey’ might be more appropriate in the case of Villa). But does anyone really think the players are able to respond, to get back at it and try to salvage our fast-receding hopes of even a play-off place?”
At least that WAS the opening for the Leeds ‘Three Things’ – I began writing it ahead of the Cardiff game, fully expecting another poor, nerve-ridden performance as Colin’s men came out swinging and ours went MIA as they have done so often since the Wolves game. How wrong I was! I might have to make a habit of such negativity – superstition is not my bag, but I’ll try anything as the games run out to keep us in the mix!
So, with four games to go and fresh hope, however slight, Leeds come to town on Friday night.
1) Believe in ourselves
It was not a vintage performance on Tuesday by any means. The weather, the pitch and what was at stake made it a battle, not least because of Cardiff’s predictable strong-arm tactics. But we held our own. Jack was kicked from pillar to post, Kodjia looked like a sparring partner for a WWE audition by several of Colin’s men and Snodgrass couldn’t blink without Joe Bennett trying to put a reducer on him.
But we didn’t buckle and our boys didn’t rise to the bait. They kept their heads, they kept with the job at hand, and they got their reward courtesy of Jack’s worldie. The most important thing was their resilience, something key to our run of 7 wins at the turn of the year. If we can keep that going in the next four matches, we might even take second. There is still all to play for, however unlikely.