Too many players had ‘easy ride’

Midfielder Hourihane says Villa’s problem in recent years has been players ‘not doing what they should be doing’ as he looks to build on feelgood factor

By Graham Hill

CONOR Hourihane reckons too many players have come to Aston Villa for an ‘easy ride’ in recent years.

Midfielder Hourihane has now made 100 appearances for Villa since signing from Barnsley.

And now he hopes the squad can use the recent results to stage a play-off bid.

Hourihane, 28, told Irish radio station Off the Ball: “I’m really enjoying it, I’ve been at Villa two years last January now and to get 100 games in that time, I’m absolutely delighted with that.

“There have been players coming to this club over the years and haven’t been doing what they should be doing.

“They maybe come here for an easy ride or whatever.

“That’s been the problem for the club over the last five or six years.

“I feel like I’m coming into the best football of my career.

“I’m fortunate to be here and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years.”

Hourihane says he has welcomed Villa boss Dean Smith’s arrival this season.

He added: “We did very well when he first came in.

“He wants to play football, get the ball down and pass it, which suits me,

“But we had a up and down time, we started out great, then we had a middle patch for about six to eight weeks, with a lot of draws.

“Getting a few lads back from injury has given us a boost over the past few weeks though.

“And we still have one or two to come back after the International break.

“We’ll try and win as many as possible to see where that takes us.

“All of a sudden we’ve won back to back games and people are saying we’re in it, but a few weeks ago they said we had no chance of the play-offs.”

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