Dean Smith admits he read Aston Villa’s uninspiring second-string the riot act at half-time after a dismal showing in their 1-0 defeat to Stoke City. Stoke’s Sam Vokes got the only goal of the game after 26 minutes which ended Villa’s hopes of reaching the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. And Smith did not mix his words when he was asked about the assessment of his team’s perfomance.
Dean Smith said “It was an awful performance in the first-half, though we still had two taps in to score. But the display was way, way below standards. The same team was rightly applauded last week after their performance at Bristol City. I expected to see the same but we were too lacklustre and made too many mistakes on the ball. It’s a massive missed opportunity. I said that to the players. I don’t very often get stuck into them at half-time but I did today because we were that poor in the first half. Saying that, we had two tap-ins we should have scored and we should have had a penalty in the second half as well.It wasn’t even a subtle foul in the penalty box on Ollie Watkins. We’ve made 11 changes tonight and, of the 11 players out there, Bertrand’s the only one who hasn’t been around me for a while so I know a lot about them and they know a lot about me and what I expect and what I want to see and I certainly didn’t get a lot of that tonight. Yeah, I’ll keep JJ around me at the moment. He had a decent performance tonight, one of the only decent performances out there tonight. Unfortunately he got the yellow card and I didn’t want to risk him.”
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