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The Presser: Dean Smith previews Newcastle trip

Dean’s Debrief: Disappointing result, positives to take and bouncing back Douglas Luiz reflects and looks ahead to Newcastle clash
The Presser: Dean Smith previews Newcastle trip

Dean Smith joined the media via video call on Monday morning to discuss Aston Villa’s upcoming fixture with Newcastle United.


With the Premier League’s restart now in full swing, Smith’s side will be looking to bounce back at St James’ Park on Wednesday evening following a narrow defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.


This is what the boss had to say…


On squad fitness…


"Everyone has come through (the first two games) okay.


“Frederic Guilbert has been training for the past few days, so he comes into contention again but we'll take another look at him in training today (Monday).”


Smith also confirmed that Bjorn Engels is currently unavailable due to injury.


On maintaining confidence…


"We feel, despite the result on Sunday, that we're in a decent place. The squad all believe that we've still got a great opportunity and we've been given that during the pause and 'Project Restart'.


"We all know that the next two are big games for us and are pivotal in what we do."


On Jack Grealish…


"He's a top player and he gets targeted, Jack and I have to find other ways around that.


“The one thing is they foul him in good areas which allows us to have good set-pieces.


“We scored from one yesterday and could have scored from another, when Kortney (Hause) headed over the bar.”


On Jack's best position...


"He can play a number of positions. He can play as a No.8 very well, he can play as a No.10 very well and he can play off the left very well as well.


"What you've got to do is feed him the ball, yesterday we never had enough of the ball to feed him.


"I thought his game against Sheffield United was one of his quieter games, first game back, but after two games I expect him to be right at it against Newcastle now."


On Newcastle…


"The fact we've only got one point out of the two games makes it a really important game, Newcastle had a very good result on Sunday so we have to make sure that we're at our best.


"I think if our performance levels are good then we've got a good chance.


"He (Steve Bruce, Newcastle boss) will control what he can control, Steve is very experienced and he's been around the game for a long time.


“For me, looking on the outside, he's handling it very well and he's getting performances from his players."

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 22nd June 2020