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The Boss: Smith on Rotherham United win, Kodjia class, Jedinak display and Bristol City next up

The Verdict: Rotherham United 1-2 Aston Villa Jack Grealish: We’re so united - and I’m loving captaining this group
The Boss: Smith on Rotherham United win, Kodjia class, Jedinak display and Bristol City next up

Dean Smith spoke to Club TV following the comeback 2-1 win at Rotherham United.

His views in full are below.

On the win…

This team keeps delivering. 

I’d put that up there as one of our best wins because we were up against it.

In the first half, we missed a penalty and Tyrone Mings gets sent off – unjustly in my view. 

We made a couple of subs. Mile Jedinak came on and was magnificent. Jonathan Kodjia came on and was magnificent, too. 

I thought we put in a performance in that second half – with one man less – that was incredible. 

JGRUPlayers worked really, really hard for each other. I thought there were two John McGinns on the pitch at one stage.

We scored two good goals – one was a penalty and the other was a really good goal. 

We could actually have scored more, such was our play in the second half.

We also defended manfully, we made some great blocks and Jed Steer has made a really good save.

It was an all-round top performance in the second half – and a great win.

On the sending off for Tyrone Mings…

For me, the lad is tapping his ankles for the first one and he should have had a free-kick given for him but instead he gets a yellow card for retaliation, I think.

Then for the second, he’s blocking a shot. His arm doesn’t go out towards the ball. 

If you’re going to give a penalty, give a penalty. It’s not deliberate handball and a yellow card. 

He didn’t book their lad for scything down Jack Grealish in the first half for our penalty. I just don’t understand the rulings anymore. For me, there was too much inconsistency. 

I thought they were allowed some free hits on our players which is not good on our players. 

The job of officials is to protect players at all costs and I didn’t think they did that.

On the half-time message…

We went 4-3-2. 

When you look at our midfield three – and you can throw the likes of Whelo and Henri into that – they’re top players.

I know they could cover the ground and carry the ball and play in the opposition half. 

I thought we did that at stages in the first half but, looking at the second half, five minutes before half-time I thought ‘I’m going to put Jonathan Kodjia on’ and play in their half with two up front.

It was a magnificent start to the second half and overall I thought we deserved the three points.

VerdictRothOn Jonathan Kodjia…

He was brilliant. 

He showed what a player he is. 

He’s probably making me rethink systems – because I play with one up front. 

I went two up top and they were magnificent, with the distance Kodj and Tammy covered.

The key point now is recovery ahead of Saturday. 

Unfortunately, they have a day’s extra rest than us but there’s a lot of adrenalin that can carry these lads through at the moment.

JedinakRothOn Mile Jedinak…

I spoke to him before the game and told him that if there was a defensive substitution, he’d be the first one going on.

He put in a really strong performance for us. 

I keep saying it but the likes of Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan are two of the best trainers, two of the best professionals you can ask for.

With how he’s been training, that performance was what I expected.

FansRothOn Bristol City on Saturday…

It’s a big game.

I watched them against West Brom and after 20 minutes, they were very comfortable.  

In the second half it was a much closer game. 

They are up there on merit and have some very good players so we have to be at our best.

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Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 11th April 2019