The Aston Villa squad should take a “massive positive” out of the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, according to Alan Hutton.
The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has claimed there is a major difference between the mentality of the current dressing room and the teams he played in during his time at the club.
The Villans gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men a run for their money at Old Trafford as a contentious penalty, scored by Bruno Fernandes, secured the three points for the home side.
Villa managed to edge out the possession stats with 52 per cent of the ball, while they also made more passes and 12 fewer fouls than the hosts.
Hutton has admitted there will be a big sense of disappointment among the squad at Villa Park this week but that they still should take a lot of pride over their performance.
Whelan told Football Insider: “You always try and take the positives out of it, always, but, of course they’ll feel they could have got something out it, they deserved something out it because I’ve been in Villa teams that have gone there just to not get beat or get beat by a lot.
“This is the difference we’re talking about, Villa went there to win that game. That doesn’t normally happen in years gone by so, of course, they’ll feel down about it but I think you can take a massive positive out it, thinking that’s a team that’s now at the top end of the league, and we are challenging them.
“We are every bit as good as they are. So I think there’s a lot of positives they can take out of that and games coming up.”
The defeat has left the Villans eighth in the Premier League table, three points behind Tottenham, Manchester City, Southampton and Everton.
However, Smith’s men have at least one game in hand over all but the Sky Blues, while they have played two fewer games than Chelsea and West Ham who are level on points.