Curtis Davies wants to show he has learned the painful lessons of Aston Villa’s October meeting with Chelsea when they meet again on Saturday.Central defender Davies looked out of sorts and was substituted at half-time by Villa manager Martin O’Neill as his side slumped to a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge.
The former West Brom captain kept his place for the next game against Portsmouth but was then dropped for four successive matches.
Davies has bounced back from that low point and played a key part in Villa’s challenge for a Champions League spot and knows they can open up a five-point gap over the Blues if they win Saturday’s early fixture at Villa Park.
He said: “Chelsea gave us a footballing lesson at their place. After they beat us like they did, I tipped them to win the league because I thought they were unbelievable.
“Obviously they have had a bit of a blip lately but their strength in depth and their quality will always show through. Hopefully we can match them and do a little bit better.”
Davies added: “I know that first game was a bit of an off-day for me and I came out of the team for three or four games.
“I was a bit upset but that’s football. You need to come back and bounce back stronger.
“If you melt away, then obviously I’d be knocking on the door to get out because they will be kicking me out because my performances won’t merit playing.
“I thought about what happened the night after the game. I always try and analyse my game myself with my dad or on my own.
“I know when I’ve done wrong and know when I’ve done right and I try to adjust and basically try and become a better player every game.
“The next day is a new day and if you think about what has happened too much, you are never going to succeed.”
Villa will be playing their third game in six days after the FA Cup meeting wit Everton and UEFA Cup meeting with CSKA Moscow.
And Davies, who is defying a shoulder problem to play at present, believes it is important not to be overly concerned by the current Premier League table.
He said: “It is a shame Chelsea’s Champions League game wasn’t this week to match up with our midweek game. It will be interesting to see what happens but we have got to stay strong and basically go out there and play the game.
“People say we can go five points clear of Chelsea by winning but we have just got to go out there, play our football, and not worry about the table. We just want to win the game.
“Chelsea have a new manager (Guus Hiddink) and it does give them a bit of a boost because certain players who haven’t been involved or think they should have been playing might get a chance now.
“It does breed competition but the main thing is we have got to concentrate on ourselves.
“Whatever team Chelsea put out is going to be one of the strongest teams in the world so it is going to be a hard task anyway.
“Whether they have got a new manager or not, we need to be on our own game.”
Former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell will return after missing the 1-1 draw against CSKA through suspension.
O’Neill is also hoping strik Emile Heskey and winger James Milner will have recovered from Achilles and thigh problems respectively.