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The Boss: Smith on Play-Off turnaround, impact subs, red card, injuries and second leg

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The Boss: Smith on Play-Off turnaround, impact subs, red card, injuries and second leg

Dean Smith spoke to Club TV following the 2-1 first leg Play-Off triumph against West Bromwich Albion.

His thoughts in full can be read below.

On an inspired comeback...

It was a great turnaround.

We've had loads of possession.

Albion came to get men behind the ball and frustrate us.

We found it tough to get through them first half. We never really moved the ball through them or around them.

We had to be patient because they slowed the game down.


On the half-time message...

I said to the lads keep doing what you're doing and just give us a bit more width.

It was about breaking their lines and getting some more movement.

I think we deserved the win. We dominated the game. We just needed to stretch that back five.

We had to keep that ball moving.

On Conor Hourihane's equaliser...

It was a great strike.

I've had tough decisions to make in that central defensive role. I've got four internationals who can play there.

Whelo got the shout today and was unfortunate to make the mistake.

But Conor has come on and got us a goal. He's renowned for doing that and getting us assists.


On Tammy Abraham...

To score 26 goals at this level is a great achievement.

He's really well liked around the place and has a great will to win.

On completing the job on Tuesday...

I said before that the tie couldn't be won today.

We've given ourselves an advantage, but that's all it is.

We've got to go and perform at The Hawthorns now.

It'll be a different game. I can't see them playing how they did today.

We've got to recover now and go there full of confidence. There's a lot of belief in this team, that's for sure.

On the approach at The Hawthorns...

I won't be sat behind the ball as much as Albion were today!

My aim is to go and win the game.

We'll be looking to score more goals.

On Dwight Gayle's red card...

It's unfortunate for them.

He's a handful for them, and was for us when we had the ball.

We had to be on our toes and be wary of the counter attack with him up top.

He'll be a big loss for them.


On Anwar El Ghazi and other knocks...

Anwar was tired.

It's Ramadan at the moment, so we're managing his diet and his sleep. So he was just tired.

Tyrone Mings also pulled up with a bit of a tight hamstring.

But we've got really good performance staff here who manage the players really well.

They'll be ready.

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 11th May 2019