Whilst with it only being the mid-way stage of the season, Aston Villa’s clash against a fellow newly-promoted side in Norwich certainly felt like a huge game in terms of importance. Both sides started the game in the relegation zone, with the Canaries rooted to the bottom of the table. A win for the away side at Villa Park on Boxing Day would have brought them on level terms with Dean Smith’s men.
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And having fallen to a 3-1 defeat at home to Southampton, Villa may have been fearing another potentially damaging result in the Premier League. But with the scores locked level at 0-0 well in to the second-half, Conor Hourihane came off the bench to strike the match-winner and grab the all-important three points.
Red Herring or Real Hero: Only hardcore Villa fans will get all of them right….
And after seeing the 28-year-old’s display, fans of the Midlands side flooded to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the midfielder, with a few hailing how he delivers when they need him the most.
Hourihane again…he just keeps delivering when we need him
— Dylan Kenny. (@esurientfox) 26 December 2019
Conor Hourihane is a big game player. The guy lives for scoring huge goals. Unbelievable player. Taken his proficiency to the highest level. Good stuff.
— Fake (@JACKGREALlSH) 26 December 2019
A couple of fans insisted that Hourihane deserves a lot more praise, with one supporter in particular claiming that it is “mad” that some people may not rate him as much.
Hourihane is so important for us, mad to think people still don’t rate him
— Charlie (@sharpyy6) 26 December 2019
How can people not rate hourihane he is VITAL for us
— JORDAN… (@94_JordanAV) 26 December 2019
A few supporters declared that he represents a far better option than his teammate, Marvelous Nakamba, and urged the manager to give him a start.
Hourihane is streets ahead of Nakamba
— ً (@avfcted) 26 December 2019
Hourihane is so underrated, must start ahead of Nakamba or Luis.
— John Colclough (@jtccolclough) 26 December 2019
Hourihane should one of the first names on the team sheet for me. Unfair that he gets dropped so much. Has done a lot more for us than Nakamba or Luiz combined.
— Richie Lion AVFC (@UpTheVillaB6) 26 December 2019
What does Nakamba actually offer Villa? Give me Luiz any day of the week. Hourihane needs to be a starter against Watford. January cannot come quick enough as Wes needs someone to play off. #AVFC
— Felicio Domingo (@rodrigojbk) 26 December 2019
If Smith is looking for a man to bring him a goal from midfield now that John McGinn is out injured, he can do a lot worse than turning to Hourihane. The 28-year-old has already struck six times in 15 games across all competitions, and after scoring the decisive goal against Norwich, will be fancying his chances of nailing down a position in the first-team for the foreseeable future.