Fuller Flavour: Back-to-back good displays ease the pressure on Mick McCarthy - for now
Just when we thought that February could be a horrible month to continue a horrible season, it hasn’t started off too badly has it?
Even though Aston Villa had not won in seven, I don’t think that many of us gave Town much hope especially in the knowledge that Villa were unbeaten at home this season.
And just when we’d given up on anyone else scoring our goals other than Tom Lawrence, step forward another Welshman in the shape of Emyr Huws.
It’s also pleasing that the second-half especially, saw us put in another good performance to back up the one we had at home to Reading.
As much as the win itself was nice – our first at Villa Park for 23 years – the fact that we kept a clean sheet for the first time since November 26, some 15 games in League and FA Cup action was also a welcome change.
For those of us unhappy with our lack of serious spending in the January transfer window, I saw over the weekend that Villa’s transfer fees spent this season weighed in at £77 million compared to our £1.5 million.
What a crazy game football is in that having such spending power still doesn’t guarantee success over the less-financially better off sides.
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We haven’t really put two decent performances together all season and the new players have certainly lifted the spirits of us all.
Whether we can gain our first back-to-back wins of the season at Brighton tomorrow night remains to be seen as that will be a difficult task but we have had a couple of good results at the Amex over the past three seasons so why not?
We go there with nothing to lose and if we express ourselves without any fear then we might come away with at least a point. These last two games have given us some respite from the mediocre performances we’ve had all season and perhaps some respite for Mick McCarthy too – for now.
There is a long way to go for Mick to win many fans over, myself included, but what more can he do than to pick players that are capable of lifting our performances? He has to start somewhere to have any hope of turning us around.
He has made that start now and decent results in these next three games might just win a few fans back, at least those that are not of the mind-set that there is no going back whilst Mick is in charge.
Ian Milne has put his head on the block on more than one occasion in the past week or so to provide the dialogue that Marcus Evans often doesn’t.
Whether you agree with Milne’s comments or not, at least he has the nerve to front up to the fans when he probably doesn’t have to speak out either.
I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says but it’s good to hear that some things are being taken on board.
We’ll find out soon what this means for ticket prices for next season.
One area I hope that will see a dramatic change is cheaper tickets for younger fans that will also be accessible in all parts of the ground.
It’s also good to hear that the club are looking at dropping the extra £2.50 charge for tickets bought on matchdays. Preceding our 1-0 win on Saturday, the Under 18’s won 4-0 and last Monday, the Under 23’s won 8-0 – not a bad week all-round then.
Things are looking up for a change, let’s just hope it lasts!