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The Boss: Smith on deserved draw, switching to 4-4-2, Alan Hutton injury and away supporters

The Verdict: Stoke City 1-1 Aston Villa Highlights: Watch Albert Adomah earn point at Stoke City
The Boss: Smith on deserved draw, switching to 4-4-2, Alan Hutton injury and away supporters
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Dean Smith spoke to Club TV following our 1-1 draw at Stoke City.

His thoughts can be read in full below.


On earning a draw....

I believe we deserved at least that. It was a scrappy first half, but it shows how our luck is going when Alan Hutton gets injured and they score when we have 10 men on the pitch.

We probably could have defended it a bit better, though. We were disappointed.

It took us a little while to get going. It was an error-stricken first half from both teams, where the ball was given away too easily.

On a much better second half...

I got into them a bit at half-time.

Their body language when they lost possession wasn't quite what I wanted it to be.

Saying that, we had the best chance of the first half when Anwar El Ghazi went through and put it over.

I was pleased with the way we battled back and dominated the ball. We played some good football and got a deserved goal.

We probably should have had a penalty. How Sam Clucas doesn't get a yellow, let alone a red, for the kung-fu style kick on Glenn Whelan, I don't know.

But I was pleased with the second half, even if we could do with some better balls into the box.

Their goalkeeper has made some good saves, especially from Tammy Abraham's header. Tyrone Mings had a header as well.


On the positives, despite not getting the win...

It was a step in the right direction. We're not on the best run of results at the moment.

The application and attitude was there, we just couldn't get that final ball/touch.

We kept driving on and Jed Steer hasn't had a lot to do.

Credit to the supporters – they were excellent today. They got behind us.

I'm glad we could score for them.

On the left-hand side of Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi...

They did well and it was some great play that led to the goal.

Anwar worked very hard in the first half without putting the quality of ball in that we needed.

It was just rewards for him keeping at it. It was a hell of a run and a good finish from Albert Adomah.

Albert has had a goal coming for a while. I'm pleased he scored.

On the tactical change...

We changed the system today since we were lacking John McGinn and others.

We went with two up top and I felt it worked.

We spent long periods in their half and should have created better chances.


On Alan Hutton's injury...

It doesn't look good – it's a knee injury.

I'm not sure on timescales yet but the assessment doesn't look good.

We'll have to speak with the medical team and see.

On Derby next weekend...

It's one we're looking forward to.

We can certainly take a lot of positives from today.

Unfortunately at the moment we're just missing that win.

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Dan Connor
By @danconnor 23rd February 2019