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Dean’s Debrief: Extra man frustration, Marvelous Premier League debut and more emotional control

Watch: Dean Smith on West Ham draw – We didn’t use the extra man well enough Short highlights: Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham
Dean’s Debrief: Extra man frustration, Marvelous Premier League debut and more emotional control

Dean Smith spoke to the press following the 0-0 draw with West Ham.

His full views are below.

On his overall assessment…

When a team goes down to 10 men, you feel you can use the extra man a bit better than we did tonight.

The plus side for me this evening is that 11 v 11, I thought we were the better team and created the better chances in the game against what I feel is a really good team.

They have a front four who will score goals against many teams in this league but I felt we restricted them to few chances tonight.

I can’t remember Tom Heaton making a save in all honesty so that was a positive. 

We created the bigger chances in the game and looked a threat going forward. I honestly thought it was a good 0-0, fairly end to end.

The disappointing part – and the reaction of the players at the end shows that – is that we played over 20 minutes against 10 men but we didn’t use our extra man well enough.

We lost our structure a little bit and it’s important to let the atmosphere be emotionally charged and not yourselves.

I thought we lost a bit of emotional control, lost our structure, there were players giving sloppy passes away and players trying to do it all themselves a bit, taking players on when you need to pass the ball a bit quicker and draw people out.

We didn’t do that for the last 20 minutes and that’s what we’re probably most disappointed about.


On El Ghazi v Mings altercation…

I didn’t need to deal with it. The players dealt with it.

That’s the group of players I’ve got, there’s a great togetherness in the dressing room and a great team spirit.

It went over the edge of what we want. But the players dealt with it swiftly.

The important thing for me at half-time was going in and talking about tactics and what we can do to make the game better.

We are playing a team sport. It’s competitive. There’ll be heat of the moments that happen. But it got dealt with very quickly.

That’s the end of it. They shook hands at half-time and wanted to do their best for the team in the second half.

On taking chances…

Against Crystal Palace, we didn’t even create chances in the final third until the last minute.

There was an improvement on that. We just need to find the back of the net.

We didn’t make the most of the big moments that we had.

Is it a concern? No. It would be more of a concern, on the back of Crystal Palace, if we hadn’t created chances against a very good, well coached team.

They will probably finish in the top 10 again this season.

Hammers9On Marvelous Nakamba’s Premier League debut…

I thought he did well for 65 minutes.

He broke up play well. He used the ball well. 

I thought he tired, which was understandable.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s his first game in the Premier League. I have a lot of new players – the likes of Bjorn Engels, Wesley, Freddie Guilbert. Some of them have only played a few games in this league so far.

I have just looked at the running stats and they’re through the roof. So I can’t question the effort and application.

We’ve run further and faster than West Ham but we haven’t taken our chances and used our brains a little bit better with the man advantage.

On Jack Grealish’s performance…

I thought his final delivery wasn’t quite as good as we expect of him.

But then again, he created a really good chance for Wesley when he went down the outside, made a great run where Jota slipped him in, he put a great cross in for Wesley and he headed over.

I said to the players before the game that they’re in charge of their own performance because that’s what they can control.

They’re all giving a lot of effort but the quality was just lacking from us, especially in that last 20. 

Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 16th September 2019