By Phil Jennings
JOHN McGinn admits he has had just one thing on his mind in recent weeks – the Premier League.
The Villa midfielder has made huge progress since joining from Hibernian last year.
And the chance to move into England’s top flight is what he dreamed off when he moved south in a £2.7million deal.
McGinn lines up for the Championship Play-off Final against Derby at Wembley knowing promotion could be just 90 minutes away.
Villa’s Player of the Year told Scotland’s Sunday Post: “Being a Premier League player is all I’ve thought about for a while now.
“Without putting too much pressure and hype on the game, if you’d said to me a few years ago when St Mirren were relegated that I’d be 90 minutes away from it, I’d have laughed at you.
“It’s amazing to think how far I’ve come from there. But this is just another step to try and get into the best league in the world.
“It’s also what the Villa fans deserve.
“When I went to Hibs, they were in a similar situation to what I initially experienced at Aston Villa.
“There was a disconnect between the fans and the players, people didn’t seem to care about playing for the club.
“But along with myself, a few players have been brought in who give absolutely everything.
“When I signed, someone down here said that as long as I gave 100 per cent, the fans would take to me right away. I knew then it was a good fit for me.
“So far, it’s gone well for me with the supporters, and long may that continue.
“Getting the Player of the Year awards was incredible. It was a surreal night, and you get to realise just how many top players have won it before.”
And – at a time when Villa are celebrating the anniversary of their 1982 European Cup win over Bayern Munich – McGinn says a couple of club legends helped him to settle in Birmingham.
McGinn added: “From a Scottish point of view, a couple of people came up to congratulate me, Des Bremner and Ken McNaught. They’re both very well thought of down here, and I have to give them a wee bit of credit, too.
“The first day I walked in for my debut against Wigan, they were both at the front door of the stadium. They live down here, and said if I ever needed anything, I was just to give them a shout.
“I’ve met Ken a few times since, and it’s just good to have friendly voices – and someone to moan at about having no potato scones!”