Alan Hutton has revealed it was clear there was an “enormous” weight lifted off the Aston Villa squad after their 1-1 draw with West Ham.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa ace has lifted the lid on phone and video calls he had with his old teammates while they were on the team bus.
A 1-1 draw in east London was enough to secure Villa’s place in the Premier League next season, with the point keeping them ahead of both Watford and Bournemouth in the bottom three.
Hutton, who left Villa in the summer of 2019, admits there was “enormous” pressure on Dean Smith’s men and that he could tell the players were just feeling relieved after a long season.
Hutton told Football Insider: “I spoke to a few of the boys, a few video calls after the game and on the bus on the way back.
“You can imagine the weight, it’s like a stress has been lifted because look, it’s a pressure situation – obviously you want to be at the other end of the table, the pressure is enormous when you’re at the bottom, you know what’s at stake.
“Just that relief to get through the game and in my honest opinion, the aim was just to stay up this season, stay up, get back into the swing of things and then build on that. Hopefully, they can do that over the next few weeks.”
Villa went unbeaten for their final four games of the season with wins over Crystal Palace and Arsenal and draws versus West Ham and Everton.
They finished 17th, four points behind the Hammers in 16th.
In other Aston Villa news, it can be revealed the Villans have agreed to sign a rising star who had a trial at Liverpool.
PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.