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5 things we learned: Hause rules, bench strength, McGinn back on the mic and much more

McGinn: Our momentum is building – and competition for places is intense Press Conference: Watch Dean Smith preview Middlesbrough clash from 1pm
5 things we learned: Hause rules, bench strength, McGinn back on the mic and much more

Aston Villa showed impressive comeback skills to power past an early disadvantage and earn a 3-1 win at Nottingham Forest.

Check out what we learned in our ‘5 things’.

1] Hause rules

It’s always a good indication of popularity as a footballer if you have a song belted out about you from the stands.

That’s the case with Kortney Hause and he’s only been here for two months!

“Our Hause. In the middle of defence. Our Hause” chanted to the 1982 Madness classic is gathering momentum with the claret and blue faithful.

And no wonder given the quality of performances being produced by the on-loan defender.

After an inauspicious start at Wigan – where he admitted himself he was below par – Hause has settled down and become an integral part of the buzzing back four – whether as left-back or centre-half.

He’s impressed greatly in the latter role alongside Tyrone Mings – and was in tip-top form in this latest encounter.

Hause even managed to wow at the other end of the pitch with a first goal for the club which ensured a vital maximum haul at the City Ground.  

If he keeps performing like this, ‘It Must Be Love’ will be added to the terrace playlist. 

SmithOnForest2] Keep pushing

Dean Smith’s outlook post-match could only be described as composed.

There were no grand statements of intent – just a serene happiness at another win collected. 

Smith spoke of several ‘false dawns’ this season, stressing the importance now of focusing intently on each game – preparation before, performance during and hopefully points after. 

This concept of total focus on the ‘here and now’ is working wonderfully well.

While others look at the turbulent promotion picture week-in and week-out, Smith is keeping a cool head.

McGinnOnForestWin3] McGinn back on the mic

John McGinn has taken over from Robert Snodgrass as our player pundit on the ‘Unclassic Commentary’ video feature series.

In it, McGinn talks through several exciting games from the current campaign alongside a playing pal.

So far, he’s given his expert insight on the 4-2 win over Blues, the 3-3 draw with Sheffield United and the 5-5 thriller with Nottingham Forest.

While his impact in these matches can never be underestimated, he didn’t get the chance to celebrate a goal of his own during his time on the mic.

As we now look to select another three games to feature, the match at the City Ground comes firmly into focus – and McGinn is sure to be wearing a big smile as he’ll be able to turn up the volume on two scorchers from his own left boot!

Thankfully, McGinn talks – and plays – a good game!

ElmoForestAway4] Mr Consistent

He’s been in and out of the team over the past few weeks but no-one can underestimate the value of Ahmed Elmohamady.

He may not wow the crowd like ‘Jacko’, power around the pitch like ‘Meatball’ or show off silky skills like ‘Jimmy Danger’ but ‘Mr Consistent’ rarely lets you down.

Once again, this time at the City Ground, Elmohamady did his job – and did it as effectively as ever. 

JKForestAway5] Bench strength 

Sometimes the measure of success isn’t your first XI, it’s your subs bench – and there’s no doubt it’s looking very strong at the moment.

Dean Smith will have been delighted to look around at the City Ground and see the likes of Jonathan Kodjia, Glenn Whelan, Albert Adomah and Tom Carroll ready and raring to make an impact.

John McGinn pointed to it, too, in his post-match interview with Club TV, saying competition for places is intense at present. 

The beauty of football is that at any given time, these players can become heroes and, with some big games coming up, their time can – and probably will - come.

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Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 14th March 2019