John McGinn: Aston Villa must be braver in Premier League

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published: | Last Updated:

John McGinn claims Villa must show more bravery and belief after their Premier League return ended in defeat at Tottenham.

John McGinn (right) battles Erik Lamela during Saturday's game.

The Scot had Dean Smith’s team on course for an improbable victory when he fired them in front inside the first nine minutes of Saturday’s season opener.

But they eventually ran out of steam and were overpowered by last term’s Champions League finalists, who fought back to claim a 3-1 victory, courtesy of Tanguy Ndombele’s strike and Harry Kane’s late double.

Midfield ace McGinn found plenty of positives in what he admitted was an “eye-opening” introduction to the top flight.

But he also conceded there were areas where Villa must improve.

He said: “I think we got a little bit too deep in the second half, trying to hang onto that lead. That’s not us.

“We need to be a bit more brave and believe in ourselves a bit more.

“But we also need to be realistic to know that they are a top four side and a team that was in the Champions League final not so long ago. We need to be realistic and take the positives from it.”

McGinn was one of six players in Villa’s starting XI experiencing the Premier League for the first time.


And he continued: “It was a bit of a whirlwind game to be honest. An eye-opener.

“We got the ball early and frustrated Tottenham in the first half but in the second half their quality showed and they managed to get the result.

“The overriding feeling is bitter disappointment but pride in the way we played our first Premier League game in a few years.

“I was just keen to prove I could play at this level. You can judge me at the end of the season and see how I am then, but there’s immense pride to have played my first Premier League game.


“It has been a long journey for me to get here but I am finally here now and I don’t want to leave.

“I want to stay here, and I want to stay here with Villa. The games coming up are so important and we will be working ever so hard to get results.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.


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