Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith has now held his pre-Wembley Championship Play-Off Final press conference, and he believes Villa will seize on a significant advantage we have going into the game against Frank Lampard’s Derby County.
With us getting through to the Final for the second successive year with victory over West Bromwich Albion, and Derby coming through their battle with Leeds, it’s going to be an intriguing game as both sides ended the year with good form, but Smith clearly feels that our approach coming from so far behind in the race for the top six gives us a natural advantage.
Speaking to Sky Sports as he met with the media, he explained.
“What we’ve got that can help us is, for the last 15 or 16 games, we’ve been playing must-win games. Each game we’ve taken in isolation and we’ve been on an unbelievable run. The players are the first to have won 10 games on the bounce at this club and they’ll always be history makers.”
It’s a fair point and I certainly don’t disagree that in terms of confidence we will be flying after our record breaking run, but Derby will be on a high of their own. Last years disappointment as a motivation will certainly be in our favour as well and we simply have to make the most of it and turn up this time.
“We’re confident without being over-confident. There’s been no change in their attitude or application in training. There’s a tightness about the group and a lot of banter goes on within the group. But when they get down to work they work very hard. They’re calm but looking forward to it.”