Dean Smith’s men now sit just one place above the drop zone in 17th place with 34 points, the same as Watford, who are in 18th place.
The Zimbabwe international signed for Villa from Belgian side Club Brugge shortly after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.
“It was looking unlikely a few weeks ago but we won games and other results went our way so we’ve ended up above the dotted line at the moment.“But the most important thing is to be above that dotted line after Sunday’s games. Our entire focus will be on trying to beat West Ham, we will be going all out to win.“We can’t think about other matches because we are not in control of them but we will be mindful come the last 10, 15 minutes because it can change the game.”
Smith has readily classed the post-lockdown fixtures as ‘‘tournament football’’ — something his side have been adept at over the past 12 months.
“We’ve been good in the cup competitions, getting to the League Cup final and winning the play-off final last season,” Smith added.