Hourihane scored for Villa in their 5-1 drubbing of Norwich City at the weekend after being brought back into the claret and blues’ starting line-up.
But the Irish midfielder insists that he is not about to rest on his laurels.
Hourihane has always been one of the hardest working members of Villa’s squad.
And the 28-year-old admits he is anxious about the competition for places at Villa Park.
“The fear of failure, and not making it, and having to go back home and being that nearly man. It’s still there now, even though I’m playing international level and playing in the Premier League,” Hourihane admitted.
“Still to this day, I’m always worried about that person behind me. That’s what drives me on every day.”
Villa brought in Douglas Luiz and Marvelous Nakamba over the summer to add competition for a place in midfield, but Hourihane has still proved his worth now.
Hourihane looks likely to retain his place in Villa’s line-up after the international break following his outstanding performance against Norwich.
Smith’s side’s next game comes against Brighton & Hove Albion, where they will be looking to add another three points to their total.
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