Five key talking points as Villa secure much-needed win vs Newcastle Utd

Aston Villa picked up their first points of the Premier League season after securing a 2-0 win over Newcastle Utd at Villa Park on Saturday.

After the disappointment and frustration of the loss at Watford last weekend, Villa needed to respond, particularly with a sold-out home faithful expecting it having been forced to stay away from their second home for so long.

READ MORE: Villa player ratings vs Newcastle Utd: Jacob Ramsey stars, Ings brilliance seals win

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While it arguably wasn’t the response that Smith was looking for in terms of it being entirely convincing, the grit and determination showed by the players to ensure we came away with three points and a clean sheet will no doubt have pleased him.

Villa will have to improve again on that performance moving forward, but with players getting fitter and hopefully those out injured ready to return from next week, this is a result that we can build on and kick-start our campaign after a poor start.

Huge result after Watford loss

As Smith eluded to himself in his post-match comments, it was vital that we got a positive result in this game after suffering defeat last week, and that is ultimately what we achieved.

It was a real setback for all concerned last time out given the optimism and expectation for this season heading into it, and so it was rather deflating to see that performance.

Naturally, back-to-back defeats would have really been problematic, but we bounced back with a win, a clean sheet and a more positive outlook.

Eases early pressure on Smith, players

While it’s ridiculous to even suggest that the Villa boss or his players should come under pressure after just one game, had we slipped up again at home in this one, it would have raised tension a little more.

Instead, it’s a more positive feeling heading into the Brentford game next weekend, and we will hopefully secure another result ahead of the international break.

These opening three games were outlined as a ‘decent’ start for us, especially with a tough schedule to follow. Getting points on the board should hopefully positively impact the feeling within the squad this week.

Ings produces class

While the goal in itself was massive given the time it came just before half-time, Danny Ings produced a moment of real quality to break the deadlock.

Those are the goals and moments that he can produce, and so if we can keep things tight at the other end of the pitch and give our attacking players the opportunity to go out and win games for us like that, we’ll be in a strong position.

That’s now two in two for Ings so far, and it’s just the start that both he and Villa would have wanted.

Jacob Ramsey sets the standard

After making a positive impact last weekend off the bench, Smith opted to give Ramsey a chance to shine in the starting XI in front of a packed Villa Park.

The 20-year-old didn’t disappoint as he produced arguably his best performance for Villa thus far, providing energy and a willingness to get on the ball in midfield while linking play between the lines to give us some fluidity.

A lot is expected of Ramsey moving forward as Smith clearly has a lot of faith in him. This is the standard he needs to perform at, now it’s about adding consistency to his game and being more decisive in the final third.

John McGinn heartbeat of side

While we’ve obviously been weakened by Jack Grealish’s departure, it’s ultimately an opportunity for others to step up and fill the void in different ways.

McGinn has always been fully committed and energetic, but this performance showed that he could go up another gear and see his influence on the side grow further.

He was everywhere on Saturday, and he is capable of setting the tone for us in midfield especially when we need to show some grit and dig in to get a result.