Friday 24 November 2017

McLeish: We shot ourselves in the foot

ASTON VILLA boss Alex McLeish was left bitterly disappointed at his team's inability to build on their morale-boosting win at Chelsea after they were beaten 2-0 at home by Swansea yesterday.

The shock 3-1 triumph at Stamford Bridge on New Year's Eve meant Villa went into the contest against the Welsh side on a high, but that feeling soon dissipated as a blunder from Stephen Warnock in the fourth minute allowed the Swans to take the lead.

The defender lost possession in his own half with an under-hit attempt at a pass and Nathan Dyer took full advantage, collecting the loose ball, driving into the box and firing a shot into the corner of the net.

There was another error on Villa's part in the build-up to Swansea's second goal two minutes into the second half, goalkeeper Brad Guzan sending his goal-kick to a white shirt and the ball coming to Wayne Routledge, who burst forward, laid on a pass for Danny Graham and then reacted swiftly to tuck away the rebound when the striker's shot came back off the upright.

The mistakes summed up a poor display from the midlanders, which McLeish found "unbelievable" after his players' exploits in their previous outing.

"It was unbelievable -- frightening that after such a good performance at the weekend and with confidence and morale so high, we go and shoot ourselves in the foot," the Scot said.

"I thought in fact that we started quite bright, but then we started to make passes to the side and back and it was a (failed) pass back which cost us.

"It is so disappointing to see us take the positive steps forward, and then that step back.

"You can't give goals like that away -- that is first and foremost. But we never really had the inspiration in the forward areas that we had at the weekend."

McLeish rejected the suggestion he had made a mistake in only making one change from the Chelsea game 48 hours earlier, although the Scot did view tiredness as a factor in his team's display.

"I think it was a lot to do with that. There is no doubt that the goal seemed to drain them -- certainly the second one," said McLeish, whose side, beaten at home for the fourth successive match, slipped to 12th, with the Swans overtaking them to go 11th.

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