By Graham Hill
CONOR HOURIHANE reckons he went from villain to hero against Derby County.
The Irish midfielder struck twice in Villa’s 4-0 drubbing of the Rams.
But two weeks earlier, Hourihane had been jeered by supporters during the defeat to West Brom.
This time it was a different story as Hourihane turned in one his best displays of the season.
And he insisted that he does not let the boo-boys get to him.
Hourihane said: “That’s up to them to say.
“They pay their money so they can have their own opinions. No problem.
“Now we’re all heroes again.
“It’s part and parcel of football.
“One week you can be a villain, the next week you can be a hero.
“I felt I played a lot better last week against Stoke after what happened in the West Brom game,
“And I felt I played a lot better again against Derby.
“You have to take the ups and downs and try to stay in the middle because it can change for you quickly.
“You have to show character and mental strength. I’ve had a half decent career, played a lot of games consistently over the past few years so I must be doing something right.”
Hourihane insists he never doubts his ability even when things are not going his way,
He added: “It’s just part of my game.
“I always think when I’m going through a tough patch, just work even harder, never doubt yourself, keep self-belief as high as possible, you’ll come through the good patches and the bad patches.”