Error count worries Big Eck

Villa had shocked Chelsea with a 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge

only 48 hours earlier, but they turned in a poor display against

the Swans and were punished for sloppy mistakes. Stephen Warnock

needlessly lost possession in his own half in the fourth minute at

Villa Park with an underhit attempt at a pass and Nathan Dyer took

full advantage, collecting the loose ball, driving forward and

firing a shot into the left corner of the net. Then there was

another error on Villa’s part in the build-up to Swansea’s second

goal two minutes after the interval, Brad Guzan sending his

goal-kick to a white shirt and the ball coming to Wayne Routledge,

who burst forward, laid on a pass for Danny Graham and reacted

swiftly to tuck away the rebound when the striker’s shot came back

off a post. The defeat leaves Villa 12th in the Premier League

midway through a mixed campaign in which up-and-down form has left

their Scottish boss frustrated. “Making the errors that we did and

not finding too many claret and blue jerseys on the end of a pass

was a problem for us,” McLeish said of the Swansea game. “We are

better than that, but when you lose goals like we lost… I don’t

see anybody giving us gifts. “This is when we are looking for that

consistency – not two, three or four good games and then a bad one,

but 10 good games, 15 good games from everybody without any of

these mistakes.” Having arrived from city rivals Birmingham in the

summer, McLeish has had a tough time trying to win over the Villa

faithful. On Monday the Villa fans booed his decision to substitute

Stephen Ireland for Marc Albrighton in the second half, as well as

venting their anger at the final whistle as the defeat – the team’s

fifth in six home games – was confirmed. McLeish had no complaints

about the way the Villa supporters reacted, though. “Stephen only

played his first 90 minutes again at the weekend (against Chelsea)

and only 45 minutes against Arsenal (his previous game),” McLeish

said. “He nearly got through the whole game (Monday), but we felt

we wanted to go 4-4-2 and have a go at them, but still keep the

solidity in midfield. “You can’t fault the fans for their emotions

and enthusiastic support for their club. “They just want to see

their club winning, and to lose at home is another kick in the

teeth for them. “It is for me as well – I’m proud of the home

records I’ve had in my managerial career and this was a huge

disappointment.” The mood for Swansea, who are up to 11th, could

not have been in greater contrast as they recorded the maiden away

win of their debut Premier League season and demonstrated the

strength of their squad. While Villa made only one change from the

weekend, Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers made a host of adjustments

for the second game in a row, a move which paid off handsomely as

his side managed to build on the 1-1 New Year’s Eve draw with

Tottenham by producing another impressive, dynamic effort. Dyer was

an outstanding performer and Rodgers praised him and fellow wideman

and goalscorer Routledge, whose strike was his first both for

Swansea and in the top-flight. “Tactically, Dyer was very good on

the first goal,” Rodgers said. “People will look at his finish and

run, but he read it very well, forced the mistake and then it was a

great finish. “It was good for both wingers. That was Wayne

Routledge’s first goal (for Swansea), which is incredible given the

boy’s talent. “The first part of his move was terrific, great

skill, and after it hits the post and comes back there is no time

to think, but he shows great technique to finish in the bottom

corner.”