20-goal Tammy Abraham backed to lead Aston Villa’s promotion push

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The Anglo-Nigerian became the first Villa player to score 20 goals since the 1980-81 campaign with his effort against Sheffield United on Friday

Aston Villa legend Peter Withe has congratulated Tammy Abraham on his 20-goal milestone and urged him to guide the club back to the Premier League.

Abraham matched Withe’s 38-year scoring record of 20 goals in a single season with his goal for the Claret and Blue in their 3-3 draw against Sheffield United in Friday’s Championship match.

The goal helped Aston Villa complete a fightback from three goals down to salvage a draw at the Villa Park.

Dean Smith’s men are placed 10th in the table with seven points adrift of the playoff zone.

“It’s a big well done to Tammy. I always said that when someone did finally hit 20 goals that I want it to count for something,” Withe told club website.

“With myself, it was the League Championship. For Tammy, now, I hope it’s promotion back to the Premier League.

“I’ve had people say to me ‘it’s not in the top-flight’. I always reply ‘yes, but it’s still a big achievement and shouldn’t be underestimated.’

“To see those goals get us into the top six and then promotion would definitely be the icing on the cake with it all. To see him score the goals and get promotion would make me a very happy man. It would be ideal.

“I’m in Australia at the moment but when I come home, I do like to get to Bodymoor Heath and I enjoy watching the boys train. I follow how they do. I have spoken to Tammy a couple of times. He seems a lovely lad, a great guy, good personality. He’s down-to-earth.

“I have great respect for him, too, because he had the chance to go to the Premier League but he chose to stay with us here at Villa. I’d like to think that’s because he can achieve something here. I’m very pleased with that.

“I like the way he plays. He gets a lot of chances and he could really have had even more goals. I think Tammy is a good lad, has a lot to offer, and is also mobile and I think he will improve even more. He’s willing to learn and get better.”

Abraham, currently second in the Championship scorers’ chart behind Sheffield’s Billy Sharp [22], is six goals short from equaling his highest scoring run in a single season – 26 goals in the 2016-17 campaign at Bristol City – and has described the feat as a massive achievement.

“It was a massive achievement for me. I said to myself when I got here ‘I’ve got to score goals’ and that’s what I have done," Abraham told club website.

“I am scoring goals for a great side who are providing chances for me. I have got myself in the right places and converted those chances that have come my way.

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“That’s the expectation I have with myself, that’s the demands I put on myself. I set myself high targets.

“I came here to take this great club up. That was my mindset. That was my thinking. I stick to my word. I will keep fighting for this target until the very last game.”

The 21-year-old will be hoping to increase his tally when Aston Villa take on Brentford at the Griffin Park for Wednesday’s league outing.

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