Aston Villa first-teamer: This is why I'm confident ahead of next season
By Matt Farr
Aston Villa midfielder Henri Lansbury insists his side are hungry to succeed next season after a disappointing campaign.
The Midlands club were relegated from the Premier League in 2015, but failed to earn immediate promotion back to the top-tier last term.
Instead, they were restricted to a 13th-place finish in the Championship, 18 points adrift of the play-off and promotion race.
But Lansbury, who arrived at the club in January from Nottingham Forest, believes the team spirit in the dressing room is “top quality”, and admits he is confident of their chances next term.
He told the Birmingham Mail: “We have good players in that dressing room. The team spirit really is top quality. We’re a tight bunch and we really want to succeed. We have that hunger individually and collectively.
“I really think this pre-season gives us a great chance to gel as a group. I am confident. I feel good about things. We want a special season, absolutely no question.”
Following his winter arrival at the club, Lansbury made 18 league appearances but failed to register a single goal or an assist.
A woeful start to the 2016-17 season under new boss Roberto Di Matteo left Aston Villa languishing in 19th place after their first 11 matches.
The Italian chief was sacked after just 124 days in charge of the club, and replaced by experienced Premier League manager Steve Bruce.
But the former Hull and Sunderland boss endured his own topsy-turvy campaign, which saw his side miss out on promotion to the top flight by some distance.
In other Aston Villa news, fans on Twitter have delivered their verdicts to reported interest in Glenn Whelan.