John McGinn says Aston Villa will be expected to survive in Premier League
By Conor Costello
Last Updated: 23/06/19 10:10pm
John McGinn says Aston Villa are capable of competing in the Premier League, but admits there will be expectations to stay in the top flight.
Villa make a return to the top division of English football for the first time in three years after being relegated to the Championship in 2016.
A run of 10 consecutive wins beginning in March saw Dean Smith's side make a late surge for the play-offs last campaign and McGinn believes this form gives the team confidence ahead of the new season.
"I think we just need to take it the same way we did last year," McGinn said.
"We took it on a week by week basis and ended up doing well. Obviously, by the size of the club, people will expect us to stay up but it's not gonna be as easy as that. We're just going to try and press early on, get results on the board and see what we can do."
Villa's first test comes at Tottenham on August 10 before they host Bournemouth a week later for their first game at Villa Park since their return to the top tier.
The 24-year-old added: "I wanted a big one to start off with and we got that with Spurs.
"It's an exciting one for everyone involved but we need to get off to a quick start. It's a massive jump for us but we know we're capable of competing and hopefully we can start showing that."
McGinn scored seven times in his first year at Villa, including one which helped his side gain promotion, scoring the second goal against Derby in the Championship play-off final in May.
The Scotland international admits he has enjoyed his inaugural year in English football and is now looking forward to his first taste of Premier League football.
"It's all been different tests. The Championship suited me greatly," he added.
"We faced different teams every week, new challenges and it's something I think I benefited from and hopefully I can prove that I can compete in the top flight and press for Villa and keep my place."