Villa Can Take On The Championship
Robert Snodgrass and Conor Hourihane have been speaking this week and they both believe that the squad can match Steve Bruce's challenge of 'taking on the division' this season.
With Bruce already already speaking to the Birmingham Mail talking about how man for man players are now running more in matches and covering more ground, he knew that had been key to our recent run of form.
'We`ve improved, but we`ve still got a lot to do in my opinion. The dressing room is better with people who want to play here and want to do well. We`ve given ourselves an outstanding chance. We are starting to do the basics of what the Championship requires. Physically, the averages say we`re a man better off from when I first walked through the door here.'
The Sports Science folk at the club show that our average distance is now up from 102km to 112/114km.
Snodgrass told the Mail this week that with high demands being made of the players by the manager, he felt the players could now 'take on the division' and meet the challenge - especially with increasing confidence.
'Of course we can. The manager set the challenge to us and as players it`s up to us to push each other and drive each other forward. We have to try to get the best out of each and every one of us. The manager has done this before in this division. What`s great about him is he gives you a platform to play, he backs you. He`s a great man, a great manager and now you`re starting to see it. We`re right behind him, the fans are right behind him and we`re looking forward to the games ahead.'
With four Championship wins on the bounce across September and two draws, Snodgrass went on to say.
'We`ve got something to build on now. The fans have now got that hope and as the 12th man they`ve helped us over the line. I think it`s coming together but there`s loads of work still to do.'
As for Hourihane, whilst agreeing he also focused on how more potent we are with two upfront and with the slow return of fitness to Kodjia and his goal against Burton boosting his own confidence, he felt we were well placed moving forward.
'We are performing better with two up front. Kodjia coming back is a big one for us and Keinan up front has been a good find for us as well. He has really come into his own the last few games. The pair of them are a handful for anyone in the league. Maybe with those two in front we have to sacrifice someone in midfield which might let the opposition have a little more possession. But when we get the ball down they can cause some problems.'
Hourihane added about Kodjia specifically.
'He is a flying fit lad. I know he was out for a bit but he worked hard when he came back and he`s had some games now. I am sure he will be back flying fit and keep kicking on again soon. He is a presence for us and we have missed him, without a doubt. Him and Keinan are two big lads who cause trouble in this league. They make an ugly ball look like a good ball, get their backs into people, win fouls and work hard off the ball as well. To have two of them up there is a bonus.'
Talking about bonuses, see the Betting Bonus at Matchbook
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