Losing to Brighton, Spurs losing too and Thursday

We've not looked the same of late and there could be many reasons for this. Or actually, a couple of seasons ago there could have been. Right now, I put it down to tiredness and as things stand, I think we just have to accept it.

The hard work has been done. You could easily argue that the squad is thin, I think we've got more injuries than most. And while I'm not convinced we have many players on that injury list that make us stronger, we have a few that don't make us weaker.

We miss Kamara. I think we probably miss Buendia too. I think Mings is a valuable backup for Konsa and Torres. Tielemans can be the right player to start a lot of games.

So now having these players for so much of the season and having to have others play more than they should, is a good reason for our run of form. Thing is, we've done the hard work and we are fortunate enough to find ourselves in fourth place with a nice cushion.

But I have to tell you, after we lost to Brighton yesterday I was quite nervous. Nervous because we have Liverpool next and if Spurs had beaten them, it could have quite easily gone down to the last game of the season.

As it turned out, Spurs got spanked by Liverpool and our cushion is still a cushion and Spurs have Manchester City to play in a match that Manchester City are going to want to win. And when Manchester City want to win a match, Manchester City usually win the match. 

But this tiredness thing has me worried for Thursday. And many that have read this far will know that I value silverware above all else. And I know it's easy to say we have to treat this like a final, but it's not and there are only so many times you can say that. It wears a little thin after a while. 

But it is so close. And while I value silverware and I know our manager does, I suspect he and the players might have an eye on the Premier League at the same time. Looking at two things at the same time, does tend to mean something isn't in focus as it should be and things are missed.

Top four is in our hands and beating Liverpool or Crystal Palace secures that for us and Spurs still have to play Manchester City, but we can't assume those things are going to happen, even if one of them probably will. 

I'm writing that to prepare for Thursday. It's either going to be one of the most memorable nights in recent Aston Villa history or a night of disappointment. If it's the latter, we just have to remember where we have come from. 

Remember Steven Gerrard, remember Christian Purslow. Remember the fake Doctor. Remember the Championship. And remember what has happened in the last 18 months and where we are heading. But hope for that 'most memorable' night, because nothing is impossible. 

And that written, thanks Liverpool.