Here we are, moment of truth, more than simple silverware on the line. Apart from whichever match ultimately sealed our relegation, this is the most important game Villa have played since at least the European Cup Final. And perhaps the most important match for years to come.
Up til now, it’s all been fun and games, always another day, another possibility. After the final, well, season two in the promotion stakes will be final, for good or bad. I really just want to wake up and see that we’ve won. But before it comes to that, I have to say it’s been a good ride.
It’s a bit dizzying being up so high in the table. For a day or two, at least. But there we were in second when Aston Villa came up aces in the Second City Derby with second-half goals from Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane powering the home side to a 2-0 win over small heath.
Our magnificent FA Cup run is over, but I don’t think Steve Bruce was wrong to stay focused on the league. The Forest match is more important than extra games in a competition we’re not going to win. If we’ve weathered a bit of a storm and found ourselves coming out stronger on the other side, Villa are in a good spot to make a run at it over the final 20. And that’s all that counts.
As I have thought about our trip to Elland Road, which seems a lifetime ago, we had some interesting things to ponder after. A rough first half, a better second, subs that changed the game, a point salvaged, and a final stretch that looked more likely to see Villa grab a winner.