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Dean Smith: Now is the time to kick on

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Dean Smith: Now is the time to kick on

Dean Smith says now is the time to kick on as we begin a new stint of the Sky Bet Championship season.

His side have only suffered defeat once in their previous 11 games, and now face a run against bottom-half sides throughout January and early February.

And although Smith admits wins have been harder to come by in recent weeks, he fully believes the moment has come where Villa ignite their campaign.

He said: "It's a new year now and the start of the run-in. There's 20 games left and we know what we have to do.

"The players are looking forward to it. I can feel it from them after the disappointment of the FA Cup loss and the pain from the performance.

"I can see the optimism in the players. They realise where we're at and what we can do.

"During the debrief from Saturday, I showed them some clips from Manchester City against Liverpool last week. We noted just how hard they work.

"We're looking to emulate that. It's what all the top players do. From what we've seen, they're looking to take that on."


Speaking about our position in the table and the upcoming run of fixtures, Smith added: "Anything is still possible. The run of games we've been on has been against the top teams.

"What we've stopped is those teams getting away from us, because they haven't beaten us – with the exception of Leeds United.

"Those teams will all start playing each other now, as we get ready for a run against teams below us in the table.

"It gives us an opportunity to begin climbing."

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Dan Connor
By @danconnor 8th January 2019