Aston Villa begin their FA Cup campaign on Saturday when they journey to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham.
Manager Dean Smith met the media at Bodymoor Heath on Friday morning as he discussed injuries to two key players, the January transfer window, where the FA Cup ranks in his priorities and the club’s goalkeeper situation.
Here you’ll find what the Villa boss had to say on those key topics…
On double injury blow…
The Burnley win came at a cost and the cost is two key players. Both have significant knee injuries that rule them out for the rest of the season.
I’m very disappointed for them, personally. Tom is a player that I wanted to bring in at the start of the season. Premier League player, England goalkeeper, a great character in the dressing room and he’s proven that already.
I feel for him and his family because he’d have been nailed on to go to the European Championships in the summer. Young Wesley, our record signing, came in with a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
He made his debut for the Brazil national team this season, scored a key goal in the game but unfortunately now he’s out for the season as well.
On January transfer window…
We had business planned anyway and that will still continue. I’m sitting down tonight with Christian Purslow and Jesus [Garcia Pitarch] to see what the injuries change for us.
It will probably hasten what we do in the market. I’ll sit down with them and see what we’re going to do and how quickly we’re going to do it.
Our only fit striker at the club at the minute is Jonathan Kodija. Keinan Davis was training last week but he still felt a tightness in his hamstring.
We’re certainly looking at centre forwards in the transfer market, but whether it’s one or two I’m not sure as of yet.
We’ve got four international goalkeepers at the football club. Unfortunately Jed Steer got injured within four minutes of his first game of the season against Wolves, so he’s out for another couple of months.
We’ve got Ørjan Nyland and Lovre Kalinic who are both full internationals, we’ve got a lad on loan at Livingston, Matija Sarkic, who is a Montenegro international.
We’ve got an awful lot of goalkeepers at the football club, but we’ll sit down tonight and discuss that.
On the FA Cup…
Our priority was always the Premier League. Two cup competitions this season and the club has a very proud history in both.
It’s been an awful long time since we’ve won this one – 1957. The fans have wanted to see us win it a number of times since then.
There are not many who’ve seen us win it in their lifetimes, so we’re going to go and be as competitive as we can be and as we have been in the Carabao Cup.
Hopefully the quality of the squad can carry us through.