Dean Smith spoke to Club TV in his pre-match press conference ahead of our weekend clash with Middlesbrough.
His views in full are below.
On mood at training ground…
When you’re winning games, it lifts everyone and everyone is happy at the football club.That should be the case anyway.
But it’s nice to get those wins in close succession.
Certainly, it tightens the league up for us but we just have to look and concentrate on the next game.
But everyone is in a positive frame of mind and looking forward to Saturday now.
On his own positivity…
The run of results certainly gives you a lift, yes.
Living in the area – and knowing as many Villa fans as I do - it’s nice to see people with smiles on their faces.
That’s what happens when you win football games.
On staying grounded…
We have to make sure we don’t look too far ahead.
We just have to focus on the next game, every time.
I keep speaking about that – and this weekend it’s Middlesbrough.
They’re in a position we’d like to be in so we know what a tough game it will be – but we also know the rewards if we go and win that game.
We will going all out for the result.
On fierce competition and the difficulty in telling players they’re not in the first XI…
That’s the job I am paid to do.
What I want are options of quality players to choose from. I have had that over the past few games, which has been really good.
We have some injured players coming back – and hopefully after the international break I will have even bigger options with Axel and Henri coming back, too.
We have Jack back now and other big players, too, which is really good.
It makes the squad healthy going into the run-in.
On impact of Tyrone Mings…
It’s off the pitch as well as on the pitch in my opinion.
From no instigation from me at all, Jack Grealish, when he’s come off in the last couple of games, has given the armband to Tyrone Mings.
That just shows the influence he’s had off the pitch and also in the dressing room.
But he’s someone I have known about for a long time. When I felt we could get him in, I was really pleased.
The fact he hadn’t played many games over the last 18 months didn’t bother me because I knew he was over his injury problems.
He looks a really good player. And I believe he is a really good player.
Hopefully that can continue until the end of the season for us.
On ‘Mr Consistent’ Ahmed Elmohamady…
He went through – and he’ll be the first to admit – a sticky period just pre-Christmas and post-Christmas when we were going through a period of playing three right-backs in a back four.
He made a couple of mistakes for goals but I’ve never questioned his professionalism and quality.
He’s put in some very assured displays. Very rarely does he give you any less than a seven out of ten.
Our supporters have certainly taken him to heart over the past few games.
On Middlesbrough clash…
It will be a tough game.
They’re on the back of losing two matches, both at home. In both games, they had a lot of chances.
They have quality players and we have to make sure we keep them out.
Defensively we’ve been very good over the past few weeks. Against Middlesbrough, we’ll need to carry that on. They have players who can score goals.
We will have to be at our best.
On his plans during international break…
We have a number of players who will go away with their countries, such is the quality in the squad.
The ones who stay behind will have a few days off to recover.
Certainly the first week will be a little bit different than what it would usually be. The second will be a normal week – preparing for Blackburn.