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Matty Cash: Resilient Aston Villa will fight for Champions League dream

Matty Cash reckons Villa have shown they are ready to fight for their Champions League dream after Saturday’s win at Fulham sent them back into the top four.

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The 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage, courtesy of two Ollie Watkins goals, was an impressive response from Unai Emery’s team after the previous weekend’s defeat to Manchester United was followed by the loss of Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara to injury, the latter for the rest of the season.

Cash felt the result demonstrated both the strength in depth of the squad and its never-say-die attitude.

He said: “You look at Clem Lenglet, who has come in on Saturday and played right-sided centre-half.

“He was brilliant and it just shows we are ready to play wherever, we are ready to fight and are ready to win.”

Victory moved Villa back into the top four courtesy of Tottenham’s defeat to Wolves. Emery later dedicated the result to Kamara, who suffered an ACL injury in the defeat to United.

Players wore T-shirts expressing messages of support to the France international before the match and Cash continued: “Losing Bouba was obviously a massive blow. Losing Diego was big, especially coming into this game, which we knew was going to be tough.

“But we showed resilience, were strong. Ollie finished it off for us, which was nice. It’s a fantastic win. Teams don’t find it easy at Fulham, so it is great.

“There is always a little bit of panic when we drop off. Then you get back into the top four and I am sure all the Villa fans will be happy.

“But it is part of the journey, part of the road. You win some, you lose some. The more you win, the more consistent you are so you finish in those top areas. We are delighted.”

Watkins has now scored 18 goals in all competitions, already surpassing his previous best mark in a single season for Villa.

“He is clinical,” said Cash. “He works hard every day on it and he is showing his worth now, he is a fantastic professional as well as player.

“For me, it is not a surprise he is scoring loads of goals. I have seen it since I came to the club.

“His work ethic and what he does to get into those positions. How he lives his life, he is a professional and he deserves it.

“He is a confidence player. I think a lot of strikers are. When you are finding the back of the net regularly I think you gain confidence, you feel it in front of goal and he is one of them.

“His goal contributions in the last 18 months or however long it is has been brilliant.”