Date: 8th March 2017 at 11:40pm
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Manager Chris Hughton has said he was delighted with the reaction of the players in Tuesday evening’s victory over Rotherham United.

On the back of a double defeat to Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest, Hughton had demanded a response from the players going into the midweek clash and taking the two nil victory with goals from Anthony Knockaert and Solly March, he felt the players had given him what he’d asked for.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, a pleased Hughton knew we had to be patient on the day but it had paid off.

‘You want a response and irrespective of where Rotherham are in the division, Villa took a while to break them down on Saturday, similar to us. I`m glad we got the response and were well worthy of the win. We needed David Stockdale to make a couple of good saves in that first-half period, but I always thought that if we could weather that initial period, the game would open up and hopefully our quality would show. The scoreline could`ve been greater for us, but we were up against a very resilient Rotherham side that are fighting for their lives and gave us a few frights early in the game. But once we weathered that, we were comfortable winners in the end. Once we got that first goal, I fancied us to get more.’

With third placed Huddersfield Town keeping the pressure on with victory over Aston Villa themselves, Hughton knew that nobody would be doing us any favours as we go into the final set of games this campaign so it’s all about us maintaining our own standards and avoiding showings like Forest.

‘You don`t see the top teams losing so many games, so it has to be about us concentrating on every one and making sure that we`re not having to rely on others. The attitude has to be that the teams around you are going to win. There will be a few defeats because they all play each other and it`s a competitive league. We will certainly have to win a good percentage of our games to stay where we are.’

German Uwe Huenemeier also made his first team return as he replaced injured Shane Duffy in defence and the 31 year old was delighted to secure the three points and the clean sheet on the day.

‘You cannot ask for much more after coming back after such a long time. It`s a big time coming up, we had a big blow with Shane being out and now it`s my time. We have to perform well and I think we delivered a solid performance. It`s always nice to come back with a win and a clean sheet. There`s always a bit of pressure, especially when you`ve been out for such a long time. I was nervous before the game because it`s always a new game and you don`t know how you`ll perform. But I was quite pleased with our performance and my performance, so all in all it`s a good day.’

Having only made one league appearance so far this season, he went on to say that he was just pleased to be back in the line up and he was looking to perform now and stake his claim in the matches that do remain this year.

‘I wasn`t in the team for a long, long time but I couldn`t blame anyone because Dunky and Duffy have done so well. You have to be in the best shape, train well and that`s what I do all the time. I had to wait for the time when I`d be needed, so I`m quite happy to be back on the pitch now. I want to perform well, be part of the team and help us get to where we all want to be. There`s nothing better than getting promoted. I`ve done it once with Paderborn and that was a big surprise. We`re now in a really good position, came close last year and now we want to do it.’

With Derby County next up on Friday evening, he went on to say.

‘It`s always nice to come back to the home ground. We lost out last game at home, so we want to get back to winnings ways again. It will be another cracking atmosphere, it`s a big game for us, a tough game for us, and Derby aren`t where they want to be, so they`ll be looking for a good result. We`ll recover as best as we can in the next two days and then be ready for another game.’

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