Wednesday evening’s trip to the New York Stadium to face off against relegation strugglers Rotherham United was never going to go entirely Aston Villa’s way.
Rotherham have spirit and fight, and they showed that in abundance in some of the challenges put in but you certainly expect more from the referee, sadly he was focused on only handballs.
Three penalties, a sending off but we still managed to come from one goal down to take a 2-1 victory and all three points to keep our own Play-Off hopes alive and we even made it seven straight Championship wins on the spin as we close in on West Bromwich Albion.
Speaking to the Official Site following the game, head coach Dean Smith was rightly proud of the way the team composed themselves and focused their anger in the second period to take the win.
“This team keeps delivering. I’d put that up there as one of our best wins because we were up against it. In the first half, we missed a penalty and Tyrone Mings gets sent off – unjustly in my view. We made a couple of subs. Mile Jedinak came on and was magnificent. Jonathan Kodjia came on and was magnificent, too. I thought we put in a performance in that second half – with one man less – that was incredible.”
“Players worked really, really hard for each other. I thought there were two John McGinn’s on the pitch at one stage. We scored two good goals – one was a penalty and the other was a really good goal. We could actually have scored more, such was our play in the second half. We also defended manfully, we made some great blocks and Jed Steer has made a really good save. It was an all-round top performance in the second half – and a great win.”
Shying away from criticising the referee and focusing on our improvement was a smart move from Smith and as many fans have said, fair play to the impact Mile Jedinak and Jonathan Kodjia had given their lack of game time, but now it’s about eight on the spin and seeing just how far we can go.
If we can find a way to approach 90 minutes the way we did that final 45, the only disappointment for most fans will be in the fact we didn’t work it out earlier, as what has to be called a good season could’ve been even more enjoyable.