Leandro Bacuna: Aston Villa are determined to do better next season

The Villans turned things around under Tim Sherwood last season and are looking to continue on that upward curve.

Aston Villa defender Leandro Bacuna has told the club’s official website that the whole squad are determined to do better in 2015/16.

The club looked destined to suffer relegation out of the Premier League at one stage last season after things went drastically wrong for Paul Lambert at Villa Park.

However, the appointment of Tim Sherwood in February turned things around and they not only avoided the drop but also reached the FA Cup final, where they were resoundingly beaten by Arsenal.

Avoiding a tumble into the Championship was a huge positive for the side, as they displayed plenty of character, and Bacuna says they are aiming to avoid another battle at the bottom next season.

"We are very determined to do better,” he told avfc.co.uk.

"It's not nice to be near the bottom of the league. The fans don't like it. The players don't like. The whole Aston Villa family doesn't like it. We are fully focused on moving up."

Arguably, it was the momentum that Sherwood’s appointment brought to the club that saw them steer clear of relegation.

More than anything, Sherwood got his side scoring goals, with the form of Christian Benteke a clear indicator of the effect he was having on the squad.

Maintaining that momentum into next season is now key for the side, and Bacuna insists there will be no looking back.

"We will not be looking back. We are only looking forward,” he added.

"I think we did a good job in the closing stages to stay in the league, considering where we were when he took over. We were struggling at that time. We have to keep going now on that upward curve. The great thing is we start again - it is something different now.”

Upward momentum, but the future rests on Benteke

Whether Villa can avoid another relegation battle next season will likely rest on where Christian Benteke starts the campaign.

The Belgian continues to be heavily linked with a summer exit, with talkSPORT reporting on Liverpool's continued interest, and that would be a major blow for Sherwood and his side given the burly striker's importance.

Should they sell Benteke and use the funds wisely, though, it is easy to imagine Villa establishing themselves as a solid Premier League side again.

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