The games come thick and fast then and it’s the first of two meetings at home to Middlesborough in a week (we play them in the League cup, in case you’d forgotten) and while the result is as important as it always is, it surely takes an extra edge for the manager.
As much as Tony Xia has recently made a plea for togetherness, you have to suspect that he’ll come to the conclusion that we can’t stick with the status quo if we continue to fail to get the wins we need and crave.
In fact, I’d go so far to say that if we lose this one and get knocked out of the cup, the axe will be hovering over Steve Bruce’s head.
After all, it’s only been a couple of weeks since the last clamour for Bruce to be sacked, yet it’s already started again.
And the only way Bruce can get away from this, is for the team to go on a stunning run of wins.
Even a couple of wins won’t placate the fans for long, because as soon as we lose a couple, so the consensus will be that “he has to go” again.
The sheer weight of “Bruce out” replies to Xia’s post-Brentford tweet has convinced me of that.
But the annoying thing is that it’s Bruce’s own fault, because he continues to encourage absolutely garbage, negative football, which is rapidly losing him any support he does have left.
My stance is still that I’m very reluctant to call for him to be sacked; at least until it’s blatantly obvious that we have no choice and it’s interesting that the vast majority of other Villa sites are of similar opinion.
Which makes me wonder if we’re somewhat out of touch, to be honest.
There’s an apparently easy answer to Bruce’s woes and that’s to get us going all out for a win, as at least us trying to win a game would gain Bruce some big brownie points. Footy is about entertainment after all.
But I just can’t see it coming, can you?
He’s promised that we’ll be better tomorrow, but if that’s so, you have to wonder why?
What will he do to get the team playing better? And why isn’t he doing it all the time?
The truth is even I’m losing faith now and I couldn’t care less about anything other than the result.
I’ve said before that I can stand rubbish footy, if it’s combined with wins.
Play rubbish and not win, well that’s not good enough. Which is exactly how I think Xia sees it.
Any positives to take to the game?
Well, Boro’s away record is almost as poor as ours (but we all know that if you want a run ending, you come to the Villa).
Gestede’s out after surgery.
Er, that’s about it.
We have a poor record against Boro at home.
Traore will probably play and he apparently tore Bolton to pieces on Saturday.
So in a game where only the win matters, it’s prediction time.
I’ll go for 2-1 to us.
But it’s more in hope, than anything.
And if we get the win, it’ll only be breathing space for Bruce.