sport news Conor Hourihane believes Aston Villa can kick on after £80m spending spree so ...

Conor Hourihane believes Aston Villa can kick on after £80m spending spree so far this summer... and says coronavirus break had him 'raring to go' when football resumed Conor Hourihane is confident that Aston Villa can kick on after staying up Hourihane is one of three survivors from the play-off final defeat to Fulham  The two sides face other at Craven Cottage at 5.45pm on Monday evening

By Joe Bernstein for MailOnline

Published: 01:03 BST, 28 September 2020 | Updated: 01:19 BST, 28 September 2020

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Midfielder Conor Hourihane can't believe the transformation at Aston Villa since they were beaten by Fulham in the Championship play-off final at two years ago.

The sides face each other again in the Premier League on Monday and it's Villa whose star is on the rise after a summer spending spree and 100 per cent record in all competitions this season.

Hourihane, 29, is just one of three survivors from the Villa side which fell at the final hurdle at Wembley under Steve Bruce and he's been impressed how the club has been revived under Dean Smith, winning promotion and then staying in the top flight on the final day of last season.

Conor Hourihane is one of three survivors from the Aston Villa side that lost in the play-off final

Conor Hourihane is one of three survivors from the Aston Villa side that lost in the play-off final

Ollie Watkins arrived at Villa Park from Brentford this summer for a club-record £33

The in-form Emiliano Martinez left Arsenal in search of regular first-team football

Aston Villa have significantly bolstered their squad this summer with the signings of Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Martinez (pictured), along with Matty Cash and Bertrand Traore

This summer the club have spent £80million on Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, right back Matty Cash and forwards Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore who played in the Champions League semi-final for Lyon last season.

'It's been an amazing journey,' says Hourihane, who thought his dream of playing in the Premier League was over after Tom Cairney's winner for Fulham in 2018.

'We reached the play-off final and lost. Then we

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