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The Boss: Smith on bouncing back, changing the system, Nyland character, finisher Hourihane and injuries

One on One: Tammy Abraham on Dean Smith impact, team anthem, Diego Costa character, Neymar and Blues buzz Aston Villa’s Diary of 2018
The Boss: Smith on bouncing back, changing the system, Nyland character, finisher Hourihane and injuries

Dean Smith Spoke to Club TV following the 1-0 win at Swansea on Boxing Day.

His thoughts can be read in full below.


On bouncing back...

It felt good to get the result today – and I think we edged it overall.

It feels that good because we've had to work really hard for it. Swansea are a good team and we had to show another side to our game.

We didn't start well, so had to go with two sitters in midfield and push John McGinn a bit higher.

We did better after that and created some really big chances. We took one in the second half.

It was a victory for the gritty side of our game today.

On the half-time message....

We weren't getting out to their key players and had to change the system a bit.

We went 4-2-3-1, allowing McGinn to make those lung-busting runs that get us in the game again.

I said to them to go and play how we finished the first half and we did. We looked a threat and got in their half.


On Conor Hourihane's winner...

It was a great goal. And he's a great goalscorer who scores all types.

It's a great stand-up ball into him from Alan Hutton, on his weaker foot. We talk a lot about our full-backs overlapping. 

But for Conor, he's shown his range of finishing abilities of late – free-kicks, sweeping finishes and now a headed goal. I'm pleased for him.


On Ørjan Nyland and his penalty save...

I thought it was a harsh penalty. Especially when we felt we should have had one, when John McGinn was bundled over.

I'm really pleased for Ørjan, and also the goalkeepeing department. All of them do a lot of work on figuring out which way players are going to go.

Ørjan himself has reacted the way I wanted him to upon signing a goalkeeper. He's got the shirt and wants to keep hold of it.

You only need to look at the fact I've taken Kodjia out today and put in El Ghazi. I want competition everywhere.

On the squad's injury situation prior to Preston...

The matchday squad at the minute is what we have.

Callum O'Hare is injured at the moment and Jake Doyle-Hayes is ill. We're down to bare bones a the moment.

Hopefully Mile Jedinak will train with us on Thursday, and Henri Lansbury is also not far away.

We'll look to build up that squad and be fit to fight in the second half of the season.

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 26th December 2018