Dean Smith has explained that he moaned at his Aston Villa players for one thing they did in yesterday’s 2-1 defeat against Manchester City.
Villa were narrowly beaten on Wednesday night by Premier League leaders Man City, who edged closer towards the title with another three points.
The Midlands club were trailing 2-1 at half time after Phil Foden and Rodri got on the scoresheet for the visitors to cancel out John McGinn’s goal inside 20 seconds. However, John Stones was sent off on the stroke of half time for Man City to give Villa a numerical advantage on the pitch.
Smith opted for an attacking substitution at half time by bringing on physical centre-forward Keinan Davis, who is known for being strong in the air.
Matty Cash’s sending off early in the second half made it 10 vs 10, and unfortunately Villa were unable to find an equaliser.
Smith said in his immediate press conference after the result that he was frustrated his team didn’t play to their strengths of getting the ball into two strikers more.
“I’ve just had a moan at the players because we’ve got Ollie Watkins, we’ve put Keinan on and we just passed in front of them when we won the back back at 10 v 10,” Smith said, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account.
Villa’s hopes of a European finish are slowly drifting away, but it’s still been an excellent season for them.
There was no disgrace losing to Man City last night, but perhaps it would’ve been a different game if Villa captain Jack Grealish had been available.
It’s been noticeable how much they miss the attacker during his recent injury absence. If Villa are going to try push on again next year, they do need to try add more depth to their group.