With significant improvements in results and style of play under head coach Dean Smith, Aston Villa are pushing nicely up the Championship table at this moment in time and this weekend we go into battle against Leeds United.
The match on Sunday afternoon will tell us how much further we need to go really given how they’ve started the 2018/19 campaign and it should be an interesting affair as they sit 12 points ahead of us.
Form-wise they have won five from the last five and we have two draws and two wins, so something has to give. Fans will, however, be pleased to hear that although promotion is our aim, it’s apparently not a necessity under new owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
After a summer dominated by talk of keeping the lights on, Chief Executive Officer Christian Purslow has played down the necessity of promotion this year, despite us losing the Parachute Payments next season.
“It’s not critical at all. The club was at its lowest ebb the day after the play-off final. A winding-up order was served – the club was unable to meet a payment of under £5m to the tax authorities. Nassef and Wes sent in tens of millions of pounds directly into the club, clearing the liabilities and effectively creating a clean slate on which to build a recovery for the club. We’re not expecting or requiring to get promoted quickly. We’re trying to do things the right way in terms of the people we bring in to run the club and the way we play.”
Money where their mouths are and swift action, not idle Tweets on social media.
Quite refreshing really and pleasing to know we are confident, and have plans in place, for the long-term again, as that takes unnecessary pressure off everyone. I doubt last season’s ‘**** or bust’ approach from the top to promotion helped anyone.