As Aston Villa search for their first win since the opening day of the Premier League season, defender Alan Hutton is happy to sacrifice a good performance if it brings three points against Swansea City.
Villa won 1-0 at AFC Bournemouth on the first Saturday of the campaign, but have picked up just one point from the subsequent eight matches and come into the weekend’s clash at Villa Park second from bottom.
Tim Sherwood’s side have lost each of their last five league outings, failing to score in the previous two, and Scotland international Hutton – who scored a desperately unfortunate own goal in the 2-0 loss at Chelsea last time out – knows things must turn around quickly.
“We’re not where we want to be in the table at the moment,” he told the club’s official website.
“I think we’ve played some good stuff in a lot of the games this season, but we just haven’t been getting the results.
“Most of our matches have been incredibly tight. There’s been nothing in a lot of them.
“We’re a new team with new players – and we are progressing. I see it every day on the training field. We’re getting more used to each other all the time and I think you’ll see better times ahead for this group of players as the weeks go by.
“Now though it’s about getting a win. We’re fully focused on three points. That’s all we’re concentrating on.
“We’d take a poor performance and the win – 100 per cent.
“It’s less about how we play and more about picking up a good result. We’ll look to do that against a good Swansea team, who will be very tough.”
Swansea manager Garry Monk spent much of Thursday’s pre-match news conference rubbishing rumours linking him with a move to take over from Sherwood at Villa Park and is instead focusing his attentions on ending his team’s five-match winless run.
“We had a very similar period last season – there was a run of games where we were indifferent,” he said.
“We used our unity to get through it. Things were talked about outside, but we don’t listen. We had a period where we went to Southampton, got the result, and that was due to our unity.
“We are in a difficult run, there is no denying that, but we have shown what we are capable of and getting back. These are good players.”
Villa have injury concerns over Gabriel Agbonlahor (calf) and Ciaran Clark (thigh). Jores Okore and Gary Gardner are striving for match fitness and are unlikely to feature, while Swansea’s only doubt centres around Wayne Routledge, who has picked up a knock.
Key Opta stats:
– Aston Villa have won just one of their eight Premier League meetings with Swansea (D3 L4), losing each of the last three and failing to score in the last two.
– The Villans have failed to score in four of their last five Premier League home games.
– Tim Sherwood has lost 14 of his 22 Premier League games in charge of Aston Villa – Paul Lambert didn’t lose his 14th game in charge of Villa in the competition until his 28th game.
– No player has attempted more dribbles in the Premier League this season than Swansea’s Jefferson Montero (62), while Villa’s Jordan Amavi has attempted the second most (58).
– Jonjo Shelvey has attempted the most shots (27 – including blocked) without scoring in the Premier League this season.