By Amir Mir
Former Aston Villa striker Andy Gray believes manager Roberto Di Matteo can take the positives from the club’s humiliating defeat at the hands of League Two side Luton Town.
The Championship side were beaten 3-1 in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, after losing their Championship opener away at Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday afternoon.
It has forced Di Matteo to re-think his plans, as he called for reinforcements of his squad in the wake of the defeat against Luton.
However, Holte-End hero Gray insisted that things can only get better for the Midlands club and that no-one realistically expected them to go back to winnings ways after relegation last season.
“If there was any player at that club that thought that dropping down a league and then attempting to come back with new staff and a new coach would be easy, Roberto Di Matteo has got all the evidence he needs to drop it in front of them and say: ‘you’ve got to work as hard as you’ve ever worked in your life’,” Gray told TalkSport.
“I often think if you start as bad as that, then there is only one place you can go and that is up. It’s not the worst thing in the world to start the season the way they’ve done, as long as the players and coaching staff learn from it.”
Broadcast pundit Gray played 167 games for Villa during two different stints totalling six years where he scored 59 goals and lifted the 1977 League Cup in the process.
Villa picked up 17 points last season, winning only three Premier League games as they fell into the second-tier of English football.
Gray believes the side currently lack any belief, but the opening few games have opened their eyes into the tough nature of what lies in front of them.
“Confidence is so important,” said Gray “They were absolutely shot last season and I never ever thought they would turn up in that league and start winning football matches.
“It would be too arrogant and too easy to say that and I think they have had a very cold shower in the opening four days of this league.”
Di Matteo now has the task of winning the club’s first competitive game since February when they take on Rotherham on Saturday at Villa Park.
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