Dean Smith Aston Villa

“We were off the pace”, Dean Smith Reflected On Leicester Game

Dean Smith was delighted with the performance of his team against Leicester City but also noticed that his team started the game slowly.

Aston Villa who won four consecutive games for the first time since 1930 is now the only team with a perfect start in the Premier League. They currently sit on 2nd in the table just one point behind Everton.

Speaking in an interview Smith said, “We didn’t start the way we would have liked and we were off the pace. Leicester started better and they’re a very good team. We flipped the system and went man-for-man because they were playing through us a bit too easy for my liking. We grew into the game and got better.”

“It was a tight game. Did we deserve it? You deserve what you get at the end of the day. It was a game of not many chances. Ezri’s had the biggest one, the back-post header.”

“It’s a great result. A scrappy performance. Sometimes you have to win different ways. We needed a bit of quality to win the game and Ross showed why he’s a very coveted player with a finish we’ve seen him do a number of times.”

He was pleased with his team keeping the third clean sheet in the league, he said, “Listen, we wanted to get stronger defensively after the lockdown. We’ve done that. To go three clean sheets from the first four games shows a tremendous work rate from everybody. It’s not just the goalkeeper and back four, it’s the whole team.”

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“When you’ve got that sort of discipline and work rate it means you can go and get results like that today. They want to keep clean sheets. It’s a credit to the whole team.”

He also admired Ross Barkley who is at the club on loan from Chelsea, “He’s a high-caliber player. I’m thankful to Chelsea that they’ve loaned him to us. I sold him the project here and told him I’ll get him in the Euros squad and he’s going to try and help us win football games. He’s certainly done that in his first couple.”

On Speculations about Watkins being injured, he explained, “Everyone’s all right. It was a tough game for a few of them. John McGinn’s played three games for Scotland over time. He’s back to his best, he’s fit. The players are good and we’ll have to recover now for what’s going to be another tough game against Leeds.”

“I’m just really pleased with the way we won the game today. It was a hard-fought win and, as my old assistant manager Chris Nicholl used to say, they’re the best ones the 1-0s. We showed resilience and character.”

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