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'To miss out on Champions league now would be extremely disappointing'

Aston Villa fan's voice graphic
Aston Villa fan's voice graphic

A vital point, or a missed opportunity? That was the question Villa fans were pondering after Sunday's draw against West Ham.

Following Tottenham's 3-0 drubbing against Fulham the chance was there for Aston Villa to regain their five-point lead over Spurs and extend the gap to 11 points on Manchester United.

However it was a late Nicolo Zaniolo goal that rescued a point for Unai Emery's men at the London stadium to keep them just about in pole position for the top four.

Going into the run-in after the international break, it is important to point out how brilliant this season has been so far.

However, to miss out on Champions League football now would be extremely disappointing.

I think the games against Wolves, Brighton and Chelsea are absolutely crucial.

Then, if we can pick up maximum points from them while picking up a bonus point or two against Man City, Arsenal or Liverpool, I am confident the top four position will be ours and we won't need to rely on that fifth spot getting Champions League football via the back door.

Richard Sutherland can be found at The Villa Park Podcast

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An image detailing how to follow your Premier League team on BBC Sport: "On the app? Tap the bell icon to get news about your club sent to you. Signed in on a browser? Hit 'Follow' to stay up to date.