Date: 1st March 2019 at 3:32pm
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Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith met with the media earlier today to discuss the upcoming Championship clash with Derby County on Saturday.

Having given his usual additional reflections on our last match against Stoke City, where the improvement in the second half of the game was more focused on after a few words at the halftime break, Smith also gave a more positive injury update given we have Jack Grealish, Tom Carroll and goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic back in contention and he also discussed who would be getting the skipper’s armband for the game given James Chester is out injured and he’s been joined by Alan Hutton.

Speaking to the Official Site earlier this afternoon, Smith wasn’t giving anything away really.

“I haven’t told the players yet. But Hutton and Chester being injured gives me a decision to make. There’s some candidates there – ones that people would expect.”

You would think Tommy Elphick, Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak were the obvious choices, but with the performance levels of on loan Tyrone Mings, a number of fans have already called for him to be given the honour of leading us out given the effort and leadership we’re already seeing from him.

A loanee gaining the armband might put a few noses out of joint, but Whelan and Jedinak would be selection based, and Elphick might more benefit from being left to focus on his own game, albeit the captain’s role isn’t new to him.

With plenty harbouring hopes of keeping Mings with us come the summer, that show of faith from Smith this early in his career might also count for a lot down the line.

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