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“Number Of Issues” – Smith Thanks Villa Squad For “Faith” During Difficult Opening Months

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It’s been a strange old start to the 2021/22 Premier League campaign for Aston Villa. With the summer upset of Jack Grealish departing for Manchester City, a few new arrivals of our own, backroom staff changes and a Covid interrupted pre-season, everyone had a few fears and concerns – particularly after our opening day defeat to Watford.

With spirits boosted by the Newcastle win and then youthful promise with our heavy victory over Barrow, whilst performances weren’t perfect (and nobody mention the first half against Everton), September saw significant, albeit inconsistent, improvement and 352 seems to hold promise for us moving forward.

With a great performance against Chelsea ending in defeat, something notably changed with Leon Bailey’s Everton impact and although there are obvious areas to improve upon, performances against Chelsea and Manchester United have more than restored some hope for the year ahead.

Vital Villa’s Dean Smith Forum Thread

Head coach Dean Smith has acknowledged the problems and issues we had in a recent interview with the Official Site and his words clearly prove the ongoing fantastic spirit we have in the camp as he passes all the praise to the players for sticking with it.

“We didn’t get too down when things weren’t quite happening. We had a bad 45 minutes at Watford, and we responded to that in the second half of the game and could have got something out of it in the end. We picked ourselves up, we trusted the process and continued to do what we needed to do. On paper, everyone expected us to win our first three games because it was two teams who’d just been promoted and Newcastle, who had struggled a bit last season. Football doesn’t work like that.”

Smith added.

“We had a number of issues, but I was really pleased with how we adapted to what had happened and we never lost faith in what we were or what we wanted to do. There’s going to be ups and downs throughout the season, but as long as we trust the process, that’ll bear fruit throughout the season.”

With only four points from our opening four games, we now go into this weekend’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur sat in eighth placed, with ten points from six, so we’ve clearly started doing something right to turn our form around like that, and we could make it three wins on the spin against Nuno Espirito Santo’s struggling side.

With Smith wanting to move on quickly from the Manchester United win and focus squarely on Spurs, he won’t be taking them lightly as even struggling, Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane are obvious threats even when not on fire and with three defeats on the spin, you have to expect some reaction from them.

So it’s down to us to play it right, and stick to our strengths.







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