Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar has admitted his frustration at the club’s long-running inconsistent form.
After two relegation-threatened seasons under Paul Lambert, Villa got off to a hot start this term, taking 10 points from their opening four league games to sit second in the table for a time.
Four successive defeats since, however, have taken the gloss off that success, and another loss away at strugglers Queens Park Rangers on Monday night would do little to convince fans that things are turning a corner.
Vlaar believes his side are a stronger outfit after a summer which saw the arrivals of Philippe Senderos, Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson Aly Cissokho, Carlos Sanchez and Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley, but concedes they still have to prove it on the pitch.
‘The last few years have been really hard for the club,’ he told Sky Sports News HQ. ‘But we have to look up.
‘Where that is? That’s a good question, which I cannot answer at the moment because I don’t know.
‘I believe we’re more solid and stronger as a team but we still have to show that; it doesn’t happen by itself.
After missing the previous four games with a calf problem, Vlaar returned to the Villa line-up for the recent 3-0 defeat at Everton, and is now targeting the trip to QPR as the match to turn around their recent poor run of results.
‘We have to work really hard – that’s where it all starts – and then we’ll see where that takes us,’ he said. ‘I have all the confidence that we can do a lot better.
‘One week we can be great and another we can underperform, but that’s part of the game.
‘Obviously I always try to help the people around me. Age doesn’t matter for me but we have to help each other. That’s the team part of the game we play.
‘If we do that right then we’re hard to beat.’