McGinn offers important assessment despite Villa rectifying key issue

Aston Villa captain John McGinn was pleased with our 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, but insisted that the performance was far from the best we can produce.

It was an important result for Villa as it was our first clean sheet at home under Unai Emery, having conceded eight goals in our previous two outings at Villa Park, both of which ended in 4-2 defeats.

READ MORE: What Emery said after Villa’s crucial win over Palace

Further, it built on our victory at Everton last weekend as we ended a three-game losing streak at Goodison Park, and it continues to move us closer to breaking into the top half of the Premier League table.

However, McGinn was quick to point out that Villa didn’t adapt well enough to facing 10 men after Cheick Doucoure was sent off, and was keen to offer a realistic assessment of the performance in the second half rather than get carried away with three points.

He does have a point to an extent given a Joachim Andersen own goal was all that split the two sides, as we weren’t clinical enough to kill off the game and make it more convincing.

“It was good,” he is quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “A little bit of mixed emotions. I know we’re getting a little bit greedy after three points but when they go down to 10 men, we have to adapt better. We didn’t play well after that.

“We ground out the three points. I’m sure the manager won’t be pleased with the second-half performance but it’s a win and we’ve been craving a win here for a while. Great to get the three points and it gives us an opportunity to look up and not down.”

“After [the disallowed goal] we had a decent first-half performance. That’s all it was: decent. We can’t get carried away and we need to play a lot better than if we’re going to get three points at West Ham.

“The manager was trying to get myself, Emi Buendia and Jacob Ramsey into those spaces and use the full-backs. Sometimes he wants them to stay but today he wanted them to get forward. Great run from Matty Cash and it made my pass easy.”

“It’s always a tough place to go [West Ham], it’s somewhere that we’ve not managed to get a result in a while but if we win that then who knows what can happen.”

The Villa midfielder is spot on when it comes to needing to up our performance level next weekend as that may not be enough against a West Ham side battling for form themselves, and so while we can be pleased with the win over Palace, there is a lot to learn from and improve on too.

While we appear to have rediscovered our defensive solidity again with back-to-back clean sheets, we were also more measured and composed in a clear effort to try and control the game and manage it better, a clear demand from Emery since that disappointing defeat to Arsenal.

In turn, there are clear signs of progress and positive aspects of the display, but we’ll hope to build on this now and heed McGinn’s humble analysis and constructive criticism of where we can still be better moving forward.

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