Aston Villa’s more recent run of form under head coach Dean Smith has certainly got the juices flowing in the fanbase as we begin eeking ourselves up the Championship table.
With some disappointment stemming from the ten goal thriller with Nottingham Forest given how easy our defence was to breach on the day, Smith has already spoken post-game about how he feels the backline had answered a few critics given we took a clean sheet from our last tie against Middlesbrough and we definitely go into our trip to The Hawthorns with renewed spirits.
Plenty expect a good clash with how both sides prefer to attack now those of a more defensive mindset have departed the Midlands, and Jack Grealish was laying it on a little thick as he was interviewed this week by Sky Sports.
With an element of nostalgia as he was once again tasked with Tottenham Hotspur questions, Jack dealt with those admirably and kept the focus as best he could on talking up our Premier League prospects under the new gaffer and how confidence was high from recent performances.
“Automatic promotion is the target. You look at our team here and that’s what we should be striving for. The players that we’ve got, even the guys that are coming off the bench and the people that are injured at the moment, we’ve got talent all around the squad. The only thing the staff and players are looking at is automatic promotion.”
Now that the players are more showing what they are capable of there’s no harm in voicing that ambition again despite the summer we had. When you factor in (of course there will be wobbles) that we should only get better as the team more understand Smith’s ‘wants’ and that improvements can be made simply by sensible strengthening in the January window, nine points off top spot the first week into December is absolutely doable.
What counts is how quickly we bounce back from the wobbles now, but Friday’s clash could see us back in the top six and if we maintain the pressure, sides above will slip up.
Isn’t it nice being optimistic again!