Villa have followed a run of five straight defeats with two wins, two defeats and a draw last time out against QPR on Tuesday night in their last 10 matches and are still hovering just above the relegation zone.
Mauricio admitted he was disappointed with aspects of our performance last time out - Sunday’s goalless draw at Burnley - but we go into the game with just four defeats in our last 20 league games and have won seven and drawn three of our last 10 at the Lane since our last home loss against Stoke back in November.
“Home form is very important for us, playing in front of our fans,” said Mauricio.
“Open Training (at the Lane on Thursday) was great. It was brilliant for us to share the training session and it would be great to share a good performance as well.
“This is a difficult game against Villa. They are not in a great position but this is a team we need to respect. They play very aggressively and have good players. We need to be focused on this game.
“Burnley was tough for us after the international break. But that’s not an excuse. It wasn’t our game, we need to fix a few problems and play better.”
Many pundits will feel it’s just a case of stopping Villa’s in-form striker Christian Benteke, who scored a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw against QPR.
“It’s never that easy,” added Mauricio. “It’s true Benteke is a very good player but Villa have many good players, not just Benteke. We need to focus on our performance.”