Monday, 11 April 2016

The importance of the match was not lost on players

Eddie Howe had drummed it into the players that the Villa away game was simply one where they had to pick up points. They needed to do a job. A defeat would have made it a bit nervy coming into the last few games, but now there will be a relaxed atmosphere to the close of the season and it will be very interesting to see how the players respond to this.
It was a game that AFCB just had to win.
Beating Aston Villa was important not just for the points, but because it rebuilt some of the confidence that had been lost in the previous two games and gave a bit of momentum back to the side. As the team now sits in 11th place there is every reason for Eddie Howe to be cheerful about how his side have performed over the season. Why should the visits of Liverpool and Chelsea be anything but welcome occasions now for the team to express themselves?

Going to Aston Villa was not a given result. Their fans made it a "toxic atmosphere" it was said by Eddie but that was made to turn on the Villa players even more when Steve Cook grabbed the opening goal. That was all that was needed to sink the hearts of the Villa players and fans and while they rallied to some extent in the second half, Josh King's improvisation and quick thinking really made the points fairly safe with 16 minutes to go.

The fact that Villa did score will have left a bit of a sad note for the back four in particular but it was good to see Ritchie and others vent their frustration at seeing the ball hit the back of the net. It gives the players a reminder that they are still conceding and had Kieran Richardson got his eyes open in time for Ayew's defence splitting low cross earlier in the second half it could have been a really tight end to the game.

PremierTalk: Is the table so unusual?

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