Dean Smith spoke to Club TV following the remarkable comeback 3-3 draw against Sheffield United.
His views in full are below.
On his emotions…
It was an unbelievable comeback.
At 80 minutes, you think the game is petering out a little bit.
Did we deserve to be 3-0 down? I didn’t think so. I thought we’d actually done okay in the game.
They are a threat on the counter. They had spells where they had possession. We had spells where we had possession.
I didn’t think we started the game well at all. I thought we were too rushed on the ball, gave it away cheaply, which enabled them to have much more possession than us in the first 20 minutes – and you can’t give anyone a head-start in this league, let alone Sheffield United.
I did think we ended the half very well. We conceded a sloppy goal from a set-piece. I think Mile got blocked off, they headed it across and it just made it over the line.
But at half-time, it was ‘start the second half how you ended the first half’ because we were knocking on the door. We were at the start of the second half too and then, unfortunately, the officials get a big call wrong and it knocks the stuffing out of everybody.
The supporters were willing us on, they were right behind us and trying to suck the ball into the Holte End goal but then we conceded a goal – you could see the stuffing got knocked out of the players. It can be a difficult place to play when you’re behind and we made a lot of mistakes after that. Then they scored the third – I think it was a deflected cross to the far post and Billy Sharp gets his hat-trick.
But we made some subs and I think they made a difference. We kept going and showed unbelievable spirit.
When Tyrone Mings scored that goal in the 82nd minute, you could see the whole place go ‘can we?’ It certainly lifted – and the players showed tremendous spirit and character today and we got our just rewards.
We should have got a penalty, too, but the officials missed that.
On the feeling of pride…
I don’t think it’s pride, it’s anger at the moment.
The officials messed up for the second goal and it’s a momentum swinger.
I was angry at the end but I’ll probably look back at it later and feel pride at the way the lads bounced back tonight.
On the controversial second goal…
The second goal shouldn’t have been given.
It was offside and there was a foul as well. Lovre has it in both his hands and he’s gone with his studs.
That was very disappointing.
On the mood heading into Brentford…
It could have been a sombre mood, couldn’t it?
It would be remiss of me to say we played well tonight. I thought we played well at times but the spirit gives us a big boost going into the next few games now.
On his good record in Brentford v Villa games…
Yes I need to turn that around – and hopefully I can do that.
I know a lot about that club, the players and the staff.
I loved my time there, they are great people and I’m looking forward to it immensely.
But I have a job to do here and we must make sure we show that spirit again.
On his attitude heading into the Brentford game…
I will have my ‘game-head’ on. I have to.
I am employed by Aston Villa and it’s the club I love.
I want to go there and get a good result.
On Tammy hitting the 20-goal milestone...
I hope it can be a springboard for him to get even more.
He was frustrated in the first half – some of it with how we played and also with how they defended as well.
They got numbers behind the ball well and were a threat on the counter.
On Tom Carroll absence…
He got a slight strain in training.
He’s missed the last few days.
He will probably be back in about 10 days.
On the highs and lows of football tonight…
That’s why I always try and stay on an even keel.
I only spent a minute or two with the players after the game because it’s an emotional and charged time.
I have to be not too high when we win and not too low when we lose and certainly level headed when we draw because we’ve been drawing too many.