I sort of want to apologise for the lack of activity this week. Yes, the optimism has dropped off a little bit as it does as an Aston Villa fan, but I've also had a lot of work on to deal with. This is the first time this week that I'm taking half an hour for myself.
And now that I'm taking the time, the optimism is growing again. But that's because it's Stoke and it's at Villa Park and because the manager has called for something and I suspect he's going to get it. Stoke are also suffering from injuries so this is a good opportunity for us.
And it's this game and the next five that are really important and why winning this is going to be so important. We can't go into April needing points - it's all about the now. Maybe waiting so long was a stroke of genius; now it's all about new manager syndrome.
News this week
So, a round up of the news this week because there have been a few bits coming up. First up, former Barnet manager Mark Robson has been appointed first-team coach to work alongside Tim Sherwood. And I don't really have an opinion on this, I'm not so sure it's that important at the moment.
In other news and this isn't nice news, Chris Herd has come back Wigan to have surgery on a medial ligament injury. It's not nice for the lad and we can only hope he comes back just as good. He's one of those players that just looks like he enjoys playing football. I'm a big fan.
Lastly, Libor Kozak is back on the training pitch. It's good for him and hopefully good for Aston Villa. He's not the most prolific of strikers, but you have that impression that he's going to score the important goals. Hopefully he's not needed, but will be nice to see him back on the pitch.
In other news
And before I go, I just read something about Stan Collymore. After another rant, he's only got himself thrown off a BT Sport match. When will he learn to keep his mouth shut? There are only so many chances people get in life and with him and his background, he should consider himself lucky he's had as many as he has had.
Right, I'm off - this has taken the full half an hour and I've got work to do. Back tomorrow unless something interesting happens and in case you wondered; I'm going for a home win tomorrow.