Date: 12th February 2018 at 10:12am
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Assistant manager Colin Calderwood picked out two Aston Villa players in particular for praise following victory over Birmingham City at the weekend.

Hosting Steve Cotterill’s side at Villa Park for the Second City derby this weekend, second half goals from Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane gave us a two nil win and returned bragging rights and all three points to our half of the City.

The result pushed us into second spot in the table and left Birmingham within two points of the Championship dropzone.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the game, Jack Grealish and Hourihane came in for particular praise following their showings – but it’s fair to say the overall performance from the side was a credit to every player on show.

With growing maturity from Jack Grealish and the player continuing to make steps forward in his contribution during games now, Calderwood explained.

‘He was excellent again. He’s got himself to a level of performance and maintained that. You could see how tired he was when he came off – he’s got great quality and guile. He was a major influence in our attacking moments.’

With Hourihane finding the net to ensure no late slip ups cost us the point, Calderwood said of him.

‘He’s terrific around the edge of the box and his record proves he can score goals. He’s a danger when he gets it and he set it up well for himself. It was a great goal, and I’ve said before that our level of goals that we’re scoring is getting us where we need to be. We’ve created some nice movement for the first goal and quality technique for the second. It rounded off a very good performance.’

The game of course was important from a derby perspective as well as a Championship table perspective, and Calderwood was equally delighted to extend our winning streak to seven matches.

The challenge is of course now to maintain that for as long as we can, and when the inevitable happens and we stumble, the reaction to that stumble becomes key as we cannot become complacent.

‘We’ll enjoy it, but also put it aside quite quickly and get ready for next Saturday. The ball doesn’t know we’ve won seven in a row, so we’ve got to go and perform again.’

With Adomah opening the scoring for us in the second period, he could easily have been picked out for praise as well as the former Middlesbrough winger takes his tally to 14 in total for the campaign, with 13 of those coming in the league itself and he’s played a massive part in helping us to shoot up the table and that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Both players Calderwood picked out came in for praise from the fans as well.

Great result and great performance, Grealish grabbing load of headlines but Jedinak had awesome game as well, in fact a great overall team performance. – Eddy1

Great win, great goals. Looking very decent now and are standing taller than the opponents at the moment. Jack is growing every game and showing maturity on and off the ball. The mentality of the squad is first class, we are building the winning mentality again. – AdzVilla11

Totally agree with AdzVilla11 Grealish has really manned up, absolute class yesterday was kicked, stamped on and just got up and got on with running the show, well done young MAN. Brilliant overall team performance, let’s keep it going against Fulham next week. – JPVILLA

Thought everyone played their part. Like the fact we have players that have to drop out the first team even after playing well. Like the fact our bench looks so much stronger. Like the fact Grealish is showing what a player he can be. Like the fact we have a decent keeper. Like the fact Hutton is playing for a new contract. Like the fact Terry is back and showing his quality. Like the fact Adomah keeps scoring. Like the fact Hogan looks full of confidence. Like the fact Steve Bruce was here today, a legend, there I said it. – tarzansbrother

I was the same as many on here shouting for conor to get subbed before his wonder strike. There was a point in the second half were Villa broke on the counter attack and the ball went to Hourihane. He wasn’t able to run with the ball and the Birmingham regained possession. He’s well able to strike the ball but not so good at the dribbling part. But all is forgiven after his goal. Fair play to him – been a while since we’ve had a centre mid chipping inn with 8+ goals. Proud of the team…. gonna wear my villa tie into work tomorrow. – Chieftoast

Just home via the Aston Social and The Boldmere. Great day! Can’t fault any in claret and blue. Grealish head and shoulders above anyone else, Jedinak superb and another top display from Hutton. Hogan ran his lungs out again. Top chant. ‘Two nil on your big day out.’ Just sitting here basking in the glow. – ironside

MotM was obvious really wasn’t it, that was by far Grealish’s best performance for us, probably better than the Liverpool semi (but you do have to take the opposition into context) but they were totally bemused by the bloke – if he plays like that every week then no complaints (although it will be next year (hopefully) where his challanges will come. – holtelower

Jack was a 9/10 the only way he could`ve scored a higher rating was to add a goal. I was actually calling for Hourihane to be subbed two minutes before his goal, I thought at 1-0 Barney would`ve been the logical substitution then Conor goes and does that! – danvilla2

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