John McGinn: Aston Villa can still have a good season despite setbacks

John McGinn believes Villa remain set up for a good season despite losing four of their last five Premier League matches.

McGinn: We can still have a good season despite setbacks
McGinn: We can still have a good season despite setbacks

Monday’s 2-1 defeat at West Ham was the most frustrating result of the campaign so far for Dean Smith’s team, who returned from the London Stadium empty handed despite dominating the match for long periods.

But McGinn took heart in the overall performance and insists Villa, who avoided relegation by a single point last season, are still much improved.

The Scotland international has called on his team-mates to quickly bounce back in Friday’s home clash with Newcastle – though the fixture remains in doubt due to the visitors suffering a coronavirus outbreak.

McGinn said: “I think we proved we are going to be a good team this season. We need to take that away from Monday.

“It’s disappointing to lose another game but we’ve got Friday now to make it right. Our home form has not been great and that is something we want to put right.”

Villa paid the price for poor defending which allowed Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen to score for the Hammers at the start of each half.

Though Jack Grealish cancelled out the opener with his fifth Premier League goal of the season, the visitors saw numerous second-half chances go begging, with Ollie Watkins missing a penalty and then seeing a stoppage-time equaliser ruled out by the most marginal of VAR offside calls. McGinn continued: “It is a crazy season so far, there are going to be ups and downs. Some VAR decisions will go for us and some will go against us. It just feels at the moment like every one is against us, but I’m sure every team is saying that.

“I think the least we deserved was three points with the performance we put in. We had West Ham on the back foot for most of the game, but had two lapses in concentration and were punished.

“It is something we need to be more streetwise with. But you have to react when things like that happen and I thought we did really well. We created so many chances and it just wasn’t our night.

“It hurt because you can come away to places and get cut open but we didn’t. We played well. It was really just two mistakes.”

McGinn’s views were echoed by Villa boss Dean Smith, who confirmed he would assess Villa’s penalty-taking duties in the coming days. Watkins, despite netting from the spot in last month’s 4-3 defeat, has now missed four out of six career penalties.

Smith said: “A lack of concentration let us down, but otherwise I thought we were great.

“We had a better result at West Ham at the end of last season, but I think we are miles better now. We played them off the park

“VAR cost us and so did the fact we didn’t take our chances.”

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