Sunday, September 25, 2022

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John McGinn admits Aston Villa “doesn’t click” but is “delighted” to beat Southampton

Aston Villa captain John McGinn admitted Aston Villa are still struggling to click after Friday night’s 1-0 win over Southampton.

Steven Gerrard’s men only picked up their second win of the season after Jacob Ramsey’s first-half goal took home all three points in a game that was more about the result than the style of performance.

After the game, the Scotland star praised his side’s brave performance but admitted it wasn’t a classic for TV viewers.

“It’s huge and we’ve been criticized this season for not grafting and not fighting and giving away cheap points but tonight we fought for every ball and we know we can do better but it’s huge three points and we feel good.

“If I was watching TV I would have turned it off but we managed the performance well. We finish week after week and it’s a waste if we don’t deliver it at the weekend.

“As a team, you either go in your shell or puff your chest. I’m happy for players who went out there and proved people wrong.”

The win eased the pressure on Gerrard, who felt the heat after Villa’s stuttering start to the season, and midfielder McGinn admits the team isn’t quite working yet.

“We can’t say it was due to rust, it was only a week off, I don’t know, I don’t think we were in great shape. We don’t click and we don’t create enough chances but tonight after we scored it was about staying strong.

“Every team in this league will create chances and we’ve limited ourselves to very few at Southampton. It’s a huge victory before the international break and we have to build on that.”

McGinn’s take on the game was echoed by Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher in their post-match analysis.

Carragher, who was co-commentator for the game, thought it was a big win for former Liverpool team-mate Gerrard but is happy he won’t have to watch the game again.

“All season long we at Sky Sports have been saying thank goodness it’s only live once,” Carragher said.

“That was a tough watch. Listen, it’s a great result for Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa. I thought the second half was going to be like this for Villa, it’s hard to score the second or third goal when you lack confidence. The fact that Southampton were so poor they never really got in trouble.’

“It’s very difficult to go from the way they played against Man City to tearing a team apart. It was a good performance against City because of the opposition.

“They defended really well but it was always a different kind of performance. Stevie couldn’t keep picking a team like that and you see that when you play at home. You have to build trust. Then you will see more results where Aston Villa score more goals.’

Fellow Sky Sport player Neville agreed, explaining that both sides had underperformed and despite the win, Gerrard would like to see his side improve.

‘She [both teams] were way below par, Southampton really were ahead, but Villa didn’t have the confidence to tear Southampton apart. Steven Gerrard will say he’s happy with the three points but he wants better performances. He’ll say well done but we know we can do better.’

Neville also joked about Carragher’s role as co-commentator, saying it was his job to lift people but the former England defender couldn’t defend the game and said he hadn’t even been given a man of the match.

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