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Villa 1-0 Leeds blog: 5 things we learned

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Villa 1-0 Leeds blog: 5 things we learned

Villa defeated Leeds 1-0 courtesy of a Lewis Grabban headed first half goal.

Here’s 5 things we learned from the victory.

1] Grealish in glorious form

Jack Grealish has been tipped for greatness for some time – and now he’s undoubtedly delivering when it matters.

Grealish first made the matchday XI in March 2012 when Alex McLeish named him on the bench against Chelsea.

Since then he has wowed at various points on that six-year journey – look no further than our 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool for proof.

But now he’s mesmerising week-in and week-out.

John Terry is the skipper but Jack Grealish is now a leader on the pitch – driving forward with relentless ease and tracking back with graceful determination.

With crunch time coming in the next few weeks, it’s great to have glorious Grealish in the ranks. 

KodjiaPostLeeds2] Kodjia fitness building

It’s been a tough year for Jonathan Kodjia.

He’s twice had surgery and played only 14 times since first damaging his ankle in the 1-0 final away day defeat at Blackburn. 

What’s telling, however, is that he’s been involved in the last five matches – and started against Leeds United on Friday.

Kodjia would tell you himself that he’s still building up his fitness levels as he looks to recreate the type of form that saw him bag 19 goals in his debut season in claret and blue.

Villa are assured a Play-Off spot now and are still pushing hard for automatic promotion so there’s still an enormous amount to play for in 2017/18.

Having Kodjia available – and becoming more dangerous by the week – bodes well for Steve Bruce.

BrucePostLeeds23] Let’s enjoy the moment

There’s always a sense of trepidation surrounding the Play-Offs.

The common consensus is that it’s a lottery and form goes out of the window.

Robert Snodgrass certainly disagreed with this assertion on the latest edition of our Official Podcast ‘On the Bish’ when he pointed to momentum, desire, hunger and pride as key factors in reaching the promised land.

But it’s Steve Bruce’s thoughts that make even more interesting – and refreshing – reading.

Bruce, in many ways embodies mindfulness principles, when he talks of “enjoying the experience”.

Mindfulness asserts that it’s vital to stop rushing through life and pay more attention – and relish – what’s happening right now. The old adage of ‘stop and smell the roses’ as it were.

He’s aware that these are the moments you look back on when you’re old and grey – be that manager, players or fans. 

So, if it comes to that, let’s truly enjoy it – and embrace what’s ahead of us.

JedinakPostLeeds4] Jedinak unstoppable 

Mile Jedinak has made a name for himself over the years as a midfield anchor man – an essential cog in any successful side.

But he’s shown over the last two games that he can excel further back too.

He’s obviously played in the heart of the defence before – even for us. 

But his form over the last two matches has shown that if we do again lose the likes of John Terry or James Chester to injury, the fearsome Aussie can step up to the plate. 

GrealishPostLeeds5] Momentum vital

Our promotion chances were halted momentarily with defeats to QPR and Bolton and a point at Hull.

But it’s good to see that we’re back on track following back-to-back wins over Cardiff and Leeds.

The momentum regained cannot be underestimated. 

It’s put us back in the automatic promotion picture – and who knows what would happen if we won the final four clashes of 2017/18.

Even if that route isn’t to be, the vivacity of victory will come in very handy as we look for Wembley wonder.

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Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 16th April 2018