The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY - By Luke Baker

ON THE road and in front of the TV cam­eras – the omens aren’t good for As­ton Villa against QPR to­day. But cap­tain Tommy El­ph­ick says it’s high time Villa fi­nally re­warded their fans’ un­wa­ver­ing sup­port and is con­vinced they will do just that. In­cred­i­bly, the Vil­lans have won just one away game since the open­ing day of last sea­son – a 2-1 tri­umph at Read­ing in Oc­to­ber – while they are also yet to taste vic­tory in any of their ten games that have been live on Sky Sports this term. De­spite a vo­cif­er­ous trav­el­ling sup­port, El­ph­ick and co went down 1-0 to Nor­wich at Car­row Road in mid­week and the 29-year-old de­fender is des­per­ate to put that right against the R’s at Lof­tus Road. “We took such a huge fol­low­ing to Nor­wich in mid­week and we sim­ply didn’t de­liver,” ad­mit­ted El­ph­ick. “It’s the fans you feel sorry for the most. That’s who you want to re­ward ev­ery sin­gle week. We want to get back on track this week­end for us and for them. “It’s amaz­ing to see week af­ter week that they sell out the al­lo­ca­tion – big num­bers too. You re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate them when you come out on to the pitch and you see them pack­ing out the away end. It’s some sight! “Our home form has ob­vi­ously been the stand-out so far this sea­son but now we need to start get­ting it right away from home too. That will put us in con­tention.” El­ph­ick’s de­fen­sive part­ner Nathan Baker has missed the re­cent games against Leeds, Wi­gan and Nor­wich with a groin prob­lem, but could re­turn to ac­tion this af­ter­noon. The 25-year-old faces a race against time to be fit but his pres­ence would be an un­doubted boost for Villa. QPR are lan­guish­ing in the lower reaches of the Cham­pi­onship, with Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink re­cently re­placed as boss by Ian Hol­loway, yet El­ph­ick in­sists his side aren’t ex­pect­ing it to be easy. “QPR are strug­gling,” he added. “They have a new man­ager so they’re go­ing through a tran­si­tion. But we must fo­cus on us and what we’re do­ing.”

TV TER­ROR: Tommy El­ph­ick suf­fers a head in­jury in the first game of the sea­son against Sh­effield Wed­nes­day, a match live on Sky

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