By 90Min
October 30, 2017

Aston Villa enjoyed a mixed month in October, and picked up four points from three tricky fixtures.

 

The Villains had two west Midlands derbies to contest, as well as a tough home tie against Fulham.

Gareth Copley/GettyImages

Record (1W, 1D, 1L)

 

The month began well for Villa, and Steve Bruce was delighted that his much-travelled squad didn't pick up any injuries whilst away on international duty. However, the 56-year-old was less pleased after the club's first game of October, when Villa travelled to Molineux.

 

Wolves proved to be a cut above an extremely lacklustre Villa side, and cruised to a 2-0 victory.

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The defeat brought to an end the Villains' four-game winning streak and was their first defeat since August. On the night, Villa showed little passion, flair or creativity, resulting in a fresh wave of criticism for Bruce.

 

However, the former Sunderland and Hull manager responded in the prefect way by winning his next match against a strong Fulham side. Villa fully deserved the three points and were buoyed by John Terry's first goal for the club.

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The team's final game of the month was a fiery encounter against local rivals Birmingham City. Although it was far from an outstanding performance, a draw at St Andrews' (where Birmingham have been strong this year) is not a terrible result.

 

In particular, Bruce will be pleased how his Villa players responded to the derby's physical nature, in an intimidating environment.

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League Position

 

Villa moved up one place in October, having began the month in seventh. However, Bruce will be disappointed that his side have lost ground on the league leaders. They began the month four points off the automatic promotion places, yet are now six points behind second place. 

Even more ominously, both Ipswich and Derby have played a match less than Villa, and could overtake them if they were to win their game in hand. In fact, six Championship sides are three or less points behind Villa, showing again the league's competitiveness, and the need for the Villains to keep winning matches.

 

Positives

 

A number of Villa players enjoyed a good run of form in October, including Sam Johnstone, John Terry and Josh Onomah.

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Despite only winning one out of three this month, Vila managed to climb a place in the league table and are still within touching distance of the top two.

 

Bruce will also be pleased at how his side responded to the dismal defeat against Wolves. In the past two games, the claret and blues have shown a level of passion and desire which has been lacking in recent years.

 

Negatives

 

Villa fans will be disappointed at the club's performance at Molineux. If Bruce and co are going to make a serious challenge for the automatic promotion places, Villa will have to show stronger performances against the league's top sides.

 

Supporters have also been left underwhelmed by the performances of Jonathan Kodjia over the past weeks.

Image by Michael Plant

The Ivorian is struggling to recreate his form of last season which saw him bag 19 goals for the club. The striker picked up another ankle injury in Sunday's defeat to Birmingham, and despite his substandard form, his presence in the side will be missed.

 

Player of the Month - Alan Hutton

 

With Neil Taylor ruled out for whole month due to his red card against Bolton, Bruce turned to Hutton, and the Scotsman did not disappoint. The full-back was probably the only player to emerge from the Wolves game with any dignity, and proved to be defensively dependable against Fulham and Birmingham.

Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship
Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship

With Taylor available for Wednesday's trip to Preston, Bruce has a tough call to make at left-back. 

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