By Phil Jennings
JOHN McGinn says Saturday’s Premier League defeat at Tottenham was an ‘eye opener’.
The Scotland midfielder celebrated his new five-year Villa deal with the first goal as Dean Smith’s side made their top flight return.
But Villa were worn down by Spurs and ran out of steam – conceding three late goals.
McGinn’s performance had Manchester United fans taking to social media demanding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signs him in January.
But McGinn told reporters: “It was a bit of a whirlwind game to be honest. An eye-opener.
“We got the ball early and frustrated Tottenham in the first half but in the second half their quality showed and they managed to get the result.
“The overriding feeling is bitter disappointment but pride in the way we played our first Premier League game in a few years.
“I was just keen to prove I could play at this level. You can judge me at the end of the season and see how I am then, but there’s immense pride to have played my first Premier League game.
“It has been a long journey for me to get here but I am finally here now and I don’t want to leave.
“I want to stay here, and I want to stay here with Villa. The games coming up are so important and we will be working ever so hard to get results.”
But McGinn says Villa need to be more courageous this season and show they belong at this level.
He added: “I think we got a little bit too deep in the second half, trying to hang onto that lead. That’s not us.
“We need to be a bit more brave and believe in ourselves a bit more. But we also need to be realistic to know that they are a top four side and a team that was in the Champions League final not so long ago. We need to be realistic and take the positives from it.”