On Thursday afternoon Aston Villa’s plans for this weekend’s clash at Villa Park against West Bromwich Albion stepped up a gear as head coach Dean Smith met with the media to give his thoughts ahead of the first leg Play-Off Semi-Final.
With Villa’s form well known with our record breaking winning streak putting us into the top six in the first place, and an excellent unbeaten run as well, Smith was a little coy when he claimed that he felt our opposition would be the favourites on the day.
We have home advantage behind us and we’ll be looking to establish a decent lead as we go into the second leg at The Hawthorns, but Smith told the Official Site that it was a challenge he relished and ultimately getting into the Play-Offs had again been the aim when he arrived at the club.
“We’re really looking forward to the challenge. That was the challenge when I came in here. Unfortunately we didn’t get near the top two, but managed to get into the Play-Offs. That’s the route we have to go down now. They’re two difficult games. I know there’s a lot of people out there saying we’re favourites, but Albion have been above us all season. They’re the ones who came down from the Premier League and have those players in their squad. We haven’t beaten them this year, either. For me, they’re the favourites and it’s about us trying to spoil their party.”
Could be quite a clever move from Smith even if putting the pressure on them is a little bit transparent, but short of their attack, Villa know we have no fear about their midfield and defence.