VILLA boss Dean Smith says his side have tightened up at the back – and that is one of the reasons they have been able to revive their play-off hopes.
The introduction of on-loan Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings has helped Villa become more sold.
Mings has fast become a fans’ favourite and the result has been three clean sheets out of the last four games.
Smith told reporters: “Defensively we have looked very solid and that was our Achilles heel before.
“Winning four games on the spin gives us a bit of momentum and a spring in our step.
“We know there are eight games to go but it sends some of our players away on international duty with a smile on their faces.
“There are still teams like Middlesbrough above us who we need to try to catch and take over.
“The work doesn’t stop because you’ve just got in there, you need to keep looking to win the next game.
“We’ll recover well and get ready for Blackburn, which is another big game at Villa Park.
“We’ve achieved nothing yet. There are teams that have got games in hand on us at the moment and we’re well aware of that. What we’ve given ourselves is an opportunity.”