FanVoice: Why September Could Be a Huge Month for Aston Villa's Promotion Hopes
Many Aston Villa fans still believe (with good reason) that their side can push for automatic promotion this campaign, despite the Villans' poor start to the season.
Villa were heavily tipped for promotion prior to the start of the 2017/18 campaign, but after picking up just one point from the opening three league matches pressure began mounting on manager Steve Bruce.
Yet, the former Sunderland and Hull boss seems to have ridden most of the storm, by virtue of winning two of his next three games.
Although Villa's season is still to kick-start, overcoming that level of scrutiny and criticism from August could serve to unite the squad.
The beginning of September also brings an end to the transfer market, something Bruce will surely be thankful for.
The Villa boss can now turn his full attention to the training ground and work on fixing any matchday errors.
Bruce will also be handed a boost later this month with the expected return of Mile Jedinak, and perhaps even Jonathan Kodjia.
The duo were two of Villa's best players last season and their return will undoubtedly uplift the squad's moral.
The Midlands club also face a relatively kind run of fixtures this month, playing three of the bottom four, and avoiding any of the current top five sides in the league.
Even more encouragingly for Villa, four of their six games in September are at home, where the team picked up most of their points last season.
A few wins at Villa Park could do a lot to raise the levels of confidence in the team and strengthen Bruce's position.
It is still early days in the season, but if Villa have any aims of gaining automatic promotion they simply must start picking up more points.
An upswing in form over the next six league matches could go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of the campaign, and helping Villa to achieve their pre-season aim.