Stats support Aston Villa man's claims that tactical tweak can work

Alan Hutton believes Aston Villa's efforts to feed more balls into the box will be rewarded, with a change in approach made against Liverpool.

Alan Hutton has told the Birmingham Mail that Aston Villa tried to be ‘more direct’ against Liverpool and believes those efforts will be rewarded in future fixtures.

Paul Lambert needs to do something to bring about a reversal in fortune, with a seven-match winless run in the Premier League dropping Villa into trouble.

Part of the problem all season has been a lack of firepower, but Hutton believes feeding more balls into the box will help to address that issue.

He claims more long balls were played against Liverpool and more crosses whipped towards the frontmen.

Hutton told the Birmingham Mail: “I thought we had a lot more chances and were a little bit more direct. We got balls into Christian (Benteke), there were some chances, it just didn’t quite drop for us but I believe if we keep going the way we are going it will change.

"We do still want to play out from the back and keep possession of the ball but when the opportunity came up to maybe cross we took it.

“I understand the crowd being disappointed but if you look at it overall you can see we are really trying to work at something and do something different and it will pay off.”

Opta statistics suggest that Villa did look to mix things up over the weekend and that a tactical tweak could work in their favour if they can find an end product.

  MatchTotal CrossAccurate CrossTotal Long BallsAccurate Long Balls
Aston Villa QPR vs Aston Villa 31 8 85 46
Aston Villa Aston Villa vs Liverpool 29 10 81 39
Aston Villa Aston Villa vs Sunderland 27 7 61 32
Aston Villa Everton vs Aston Villa 27 5 60 36

Villa delivered more accurate crosses on Saturday than they have in any other top-flight outing this season.

There is, however, still be plenty of room for improvement, with the four games listed above – when Villa have been at their most direct – delivering just one point, three defeats and no goals.

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