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Grealish: We kicked the New Year off in style

Highlights: Villa start 2020 on a high against Burnley Six of the Best: Villa in the FA Cup Third Round
Grealish: We kicked the New Year off in style

Jack Grealish started the New Year by picking up where he left off in 2019.

The No10 terrorised Burnley, picking up a goal, an assist and the Man of the Match award in the 2-1 win.

And while the personal accolade was nice, the three points were more important to the Aston Villa captain.

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“To get myself Man of the Match, to get a goal and to come out on the winning team, I don’t think you can ask for a better day,” he reflected.

“The main thing is to come away with three points and I’m over the moon with that.”

Heading into the game, Villa were under pressure after falling into the relegation zone on the back of a disappointing defeat against Watford.

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Few pundits gave them any hope of taking three points at Turf Moor, which is renowned as one of the toughest places to visit in the Premier League.

But a change in formation from manager Dean Smith and the return of Tyrone Mings helped propel Villa to their second away league win of the season.

Grealish said: “We’ve had a bit of a sticky patch recently, so to come to one of the toughest places in the league and get three points, I’m over the moon.

“Everyone was brilliant. Tyrone coming back into the squad gave us a big boost of confidence, and the defence were brilliant.

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“We’ve had a bit of criticism recently, and rightly so. The last game against Watford, everyone knew we were nowhere near good enough.

“Today we were brilliant, especially in the first half. Second half was more of a backs to the wall job and we knew that because we know what Burnley are capable of.”

The victory came at a cost, with goalkeeper Tom Heaton and striker Wesley stretchered off injured in the second half.

But with the fans backing them as vociferously as they did at Turf Moor, Grealish believes there is plenty to be optimistic about in 2020.

He said: “We didn’t have the best of months in December at all. In my opinion, that’s mainly due to injuries.

“We’ve lost some key players and I think the manager wanted to change it up, maybe because we haven’t been too good defensively.

“We showed what we’re capable of today and the fans obviously helped us along the way.”

Greg  Styles
By @GregStyles91 2nd January 2020