Date: 12th August 2019 at 6:00am
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With Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith already saying that the Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur was another step on the path of us ‘learning lessons’, fans will be delighted by his wider comments following the game.

With plenty of positives coming from the 90 minutes, even though we lost 3-1 ultimately, we all know we need to increase our sharpness a touch now we’ve made the step up, but for players there’s no better way to learn that than by experiencing it first hand.

Speaking to the Official Site in his wider press comments, Smith was staying very grounded indeed, but one comment jumpd out at me – given we were all discussing the relative merits (or otherwise) of his first starting XI for the year.

Questioned about the lessons we could take from the game, he answered.

“It gives us a standard to aspire to now. We’ll analyse and reflect. I’ll also look at my own decisions. We’ve proved we can be competitive in this league. We didn’t go behind until late to a top-four team.”

With so many managers playing the excuse game usually, it’s nice to see Smith simply be honest that he may have made a mistake himself. Different fans will say that was the lineup, others will say it was the substitutions or the timing of them, but he’s stepping up to a new level himself and the more he doesn’t bunker down on the ‘poor me’ and just stays open to the fact he’s learning himself, well it can only bode well for us in my eyes.

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