Belfast Telegraph

Hutton: We want to right wrong

Aston Villa's survival may be assured but Alan Hutton knows they have something to prove in their Premier League finale after capitulating at Southampton.

Tim Sherwood's side arrived at St Mary's knowing victory would guarantee another season of top-flight football, but there were no signs of their recent impressive form on Saturday.

Villa were blown away 6-1 thanks in no small part to a remarkable first half in which Sadio Mane netted the fastest ever Premier League hat-trick and Shane Long grabbed a brace.

"It just seemed a wee bit edgy, it is hard to put your finger on it," full-back Hutton said. "I don't think anybody played to their ability.

"It's disappointing for the fans travelling down here, supporting us and we put on a performance like that.

"The fans have been great with us, to be honest. The fact they are still singing when we are getting beaten to the very last minute. We thank them for that really."

Christian Benteke did pull one back in first-half stoppage time and Villa improved markedly after the break, although Graziano Pelle was still able to notch another for Saints .

Disappointment quickly turned to relief, though, as results elsewhere on Saturday meant survival was assured with a game to spare.

As positive as that is, Hutton says the players will be keen to make amends when relegated Burnley visit Villa Park, before attention turns to the FA Cup final against Arsenal.

"I don't think it will be forgotten, no," the Scotland international said.

"Everybody is hurting, the boys are hurting. You don't want to go out and give a performance like that. It is not nice for everyone involved.

"Whatever the results are we have to go and put it right next week.

"There is a mixture," Hutton added on the dressing room personalities. "Obviously, everyone wants to win, no one wants to come and play bad.

"You don't set out to play bad but it was just one of those days we had. It's disappointing.

"We said what we wanted to say and we keep it in house. But we are going to have to go out and put on a performance next week, that is for sure."

Southampton's final league of the campaign sees them travel to second-placed Manchester City.

It is a match Ronald Koeman's men approach having already secured seventh place - their highest-ever Premier League finish with a record points tally of 60.

Saints could yet sneak as high as fifth and know a top-six finish would guarantee Europa League football, capping a remarkable campaign.

"It does (feel special)," said midfielder James Ward-Prowse. "It gives goosebumps to me especially, the great season we've had and the support.

"You can see how much it means to the fans and for us as players to give them that is great.

"We approach City full of confidence. It's the last game of the season. We obviously still need to make sure we perform well and win the game.

"As professionals, we will go out and prepare right and obviously go to win the game."

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