Aston Villa’s hopes of automatic promotion from the English Championship took a critical blow on Saturday after a 1-0 defeat away to Bolton Wanderers.
Desperately needing a win to keep the pressure on Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Steve Bruce’s side failed to produce for the second successive match and are now seven points behind second place having played a game more.
Supporters were left frustrated by the result and performance with many pointing to their midfield as the reason they fell to defeat.
The performance of Conor Hourihane left a lot to be desired and it’s left some wanting to see him benched for upcoming matches, believing he’s been poor over the last few weeks.
The Republic of Ireland international has scored nine goals this season but does he offer enough defensive skills in matches that turn into a midfield battle?
Fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts after the defeat…
Hourihane needs a break from the first team, he’s a good player but he offered nothing again today #avfc
— Wayne T (@witton_warrior) March 17, 2018
See more fans are having there eyes widened on the Hourihane front, I've been saying it for a while his goals have papered over well below par showings. #avfc
— Roger. W (@RogerW42) March 18, 2018
Adomah, Hourihane and Snodgrass are usually 3 of our best. Non existent or just wasteful tonight. #avfc
— Andy Brennan (@absilver0505) March 17, 2018
Sometimes I feel bad for Hourihane because people don’t realise his contribution but before being taken off tonight he was totally invisible. #avfc
— Emmett Carey (@3MMETT_c4R3y) March 17, 2018
Hourihane isn’t good enough, put the 10 goals aside what does he offer? If he was scoring 10 goals and offering nothing as a striker fair enough, but we need a strong midfield and i haven’t saw him boss a midfield once this season
— corey (@coreyajd) March 18, 2018
Very disappointed with Hourihane again today too. Went missing in action on Paddy's day. Left too much on Bjarnason & Jack's shoulders. Thought Keinan should've been 1st sub on to allow us longer ball option. Bruce tactically poor again.
— Rob Aston 🦁💜💙 (@RobA19) March 17, 2018
Bruce thought Bikir and Hourihane together would work. Lol. Both so weak, you don't even know they are in midfield. Time for Lansbury to come in.
— Harry Johnson (@avfc_johnson) March 17, 2018
Hourihane big problem for me to many players in the midfield who don't get stuck in, can only play one of hourihane and grealish from now on.
— Wayne Turner (@turner295) March 17, 2018
Hourihane was so poor, Bjarnason shocking , Adomah dreadful , Snodgrass wasteful #avfc
— Ashley Skinner (@Villaboy89) March 17, 2018
About time, Hourihane has been shocking for the last 5 matches. Take your chance RHM! https://t.co/tdBcrksDO9
— Kikmon (@kikmon) March 17, 2018