Fourteenth place in the league and just a few points off the relegation places. To the naked eye, it’s not the strongest start to the season we could have had.
But, as Ashley Westwood said just this week, the club have negotiated past some tricky ties already this season and that is something most fans could agree with.
Yet we’ve now entered a four-game streak without winning and although one was a tricky tie against big-spending Spurs, there’s only so long we can use our tough fixture list as an excuse.
That’s not demanding result after result, but it’s searching for some all-important victories now we’ve got that rough fixture list out of the way. There should be nothing to hide behind now.
Saturday starts a run that includes newly-promoted Cardiff and Crystal Palace; relegation-threatened Sunderland; the indifferent form of Fulham and Stoke; and mid-table opposition in Swansea.
An away trip to surprise package Southampton, a visit to the Hawthorns for a derby and a home tie to Manchester United – who treat Villa Park like a second home – will certainly be tougher tests.
But, other than that, the target should be near maximum points from the remaining six in the run-up to New Year with a potential 18 available. That starts with Cardiff on Saturday.
The new squad of young, inexperienced players was something we could fall back on last season and the tough fixture list has been something used at the start of this season, but we’re past that now.
Expectations have often been too high at Villa Park and most fans have lowered that a bit to reflect our spending power in the transfer market in comparison to other teams.
But Ian Taylor recalled recently how even during his time as a player the club always made sure the opposition were in a game when we played them at home. We need that spirit back.
Both Spurs and Everton strolled to victory with ease but in future teams like Cardiff, Sunderland and even Manchester United should be made to fight for anything they take off us.
This strange nervousness etched into the minds of the team in home fixtures holds us back and it’s these games – where we should win but the opposition may sit too deep – that trouble us the most.
Only Crystal Palace are worse off than us in the home league table and even that’s by virtue of us having conceded just one less goal. It’s a hoodoo we need to eradicate sooner rather than later.
Victory could be a huge boost but anything else could put us in a precarious position – both physically and mentally. It’s fine margins, but football is a confidence game after all.