Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins has full faith in his partnership with Danny Ings

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Duo eyeing a strong finish to the season to leave boss Steven Gerrard with food for thought

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins insists both he and fellow forward Danny Ings believe they can strike up a potent partnership and fire the club to greater heights next season.

Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Norwich City, which eased any lingering fears of Steven Gerrard’s men being drawn into a relegation battle, was just the second time the pair have scored in the same match and Watkins concedes their combined total of 15 goals is an under-achievement for players who between them cost the club £53m.

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Watkins, who opened the scoring just before the break with a deflected finish, now accepts the challenge is for the duo to find the net regularly in the final five matches.

Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins believe their playing styles are adjusting to each other. Picture: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images.Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins believe their playing styles are adjusting to each other. Picture: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images.
Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins believe their playing styles are adjusting to each other. Picture: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images. | Getty Images

What has the England man had to say?

He said: “I think looking back, at the start of the season, me and Ingsy probably would have (expected) a lot more goals, but it’s definitely a partnership that can work.

I think we’ve been unfortunate. I’m not making any excuses. We’ve had inconsistent performances.

“But that is the game. In the last few matches we can hopefully push on and get a lot more goals.”

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Substitute Ings struck in injury time to seal the points and, with his future at Villa Park reportedly in question, will know the importance of a strong finish to the season.

However, Watkins has faith in the team to produce the performance levels required to create chances for the front players and ensure a solid finale to the Premier League campaign.

The 26-year-old added: “It was a win we badly needed. We were on a bad run and it was nice to get three points. Now we need to keep pushing and aim for the top ten finish.

“We know we haven’t been great. It was a positive taking a point at Leicester City the weekend before and Saturday was also a good day.”

What’s up next for Villa?

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Gerrard’s men head to Lancashire on Saturday to face a rejuvenated Burnley, who remain in the thick of the fight for survival.

The visit of quadruple-chasing Liverpool is next a week tonight, before home fixtures against Crystal Palace and Burnley and a trip to title-chasing Manchester City to round the season off.

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