Dean Smith beamed with pride at Aston Villa’s fight back knowing his side came from behind to win for the first time this season. Here’s everything Smith said afterwards with Villa winning for the first time in five Premier League matches:
What did you make of that importance coming from behind?
Dean Smith said “Certainly a very good last 20/25 minutes. I didn’t think it was a scintillating game, to be honest, up until that moment. Sometimes you just need that mindset for an impact to happen from the subs’ bench and they certainly did that today. All three players that came on made an impact on the game and lifted our performance. There’s two teams that played two systems in similar ways and probably negated each other. It was a big mistake which gave them the goal but our subs actually changed our game for us.”
Not a bad time for Trezeguet to score his first two goals this season. What did you make of his performance?
Dean Smith said “He’s come on and has done what was asked of him; to make an impact. He’s been a little bit unfortunate this season; he’s had a goal chalked off at Arsenal which was given as an own-goal while he’s had some chances and has hit the post at times as well. I’m really pleased for him. He’s come back really well from his internationals with Egypt qualifying for the African Cup of Nations and he’s got his goals today from off the bench. I’m really pleased for him.”
Tyrone Mings devastated by his mistake but it shows what he’s about to get the assist for Villa’s equaliser…
Dean Smith said “It was an uncharacteristic mistake from him with a poor back pass. But he ended up getting an assist for the equalising goal. I’m pleased he showed that character to come back from a mistake. He doesn’t, others can crumble. He’s full of character and led the way for us today.”
Ollie Watkins has had a great couple of weeks, what have you made of his development since signing him?
Dean Smith said “He’ll get better and better. He started like a house on fire and it took him until the third game for him to score and it ended up being a hat-trick against the champions. Everyone at the football club loves what he’s about; his character, his attitude and his will to get better. We were so pleased for him to get his international goal for England and his work rate was great again today.”
What was Trezeguet’s celebration about, he put his finger to his lips. Has he been frustrated of late?
Dean Smith said “I’ve no idea! I don’t know! I’ll have to look back at his Arsenal goal to see if he celebrated the same way. I don’t know.”
What is the issue with Jack? Is it just a shin muscle injury and you’re being cautious?
Dean Smith said “He just felt some discomfort yesterday in training and we had to pull him out. Listen, Jack wants to play more than anybody and when Jack tells you he’s got a little bit of pain still then you have to take notice of it. We erred on the side of caution with it and yes he’s going to be a miss when he doesn’t play because he brings so much to the team. But the players have shown today that they can get the win without him today – and for him!”
Watkins referred in his post-match that you haven’t came from behind to win this season, that must be pleasing…
Dean Smith said “Yes. That’s been mentioned before and it’s something we’ve been aware of because we keep clean sheets and win football games. Today we’ve come from behind to win a game for the first time. I think the only point we’ve gained from behind was at Chelsea away so it’s really pleasing we’ve done well today to do that. The impact of the subs is what pleased me the most about that as well.”
Dean Smith said “Listen, we believe we’ve got a quality squad. There’s no doubting Jack makes that a lot better with the quality of player he is. Bertrand Traore went away and scored a goal that helped Burkino Faso qualify; Watkins scored for England; John McGinn scored three for Scotland. We believe we’ve got quality players here but it’s just about showing it out on the pitch.”
What will the assist do for Keinan Davis?
Dean Smith said “It will give him a big boost. I was hoping right at the death he was in for a good chance with a cross from Matt Targett. He just needs a goal. He hasn’t had too many minutes on the pitch and our energy levels had dropped and I felt we needed to go to two up front. He came on and did really well, as did all the subs; JJ and Trez as well. But that ball for Trez’s second was a super ball and will give him a boost of confidence that’s for sure.”
The result over Fulham lifted Villa back up to ninth and ahead of Arsenal and Leeds after Trezeguet (2) and Ollie Watkins scored for a memorable comeback win. Aleksander Mitrovic had put Fulham ahead on 61 minutes following Tyrone Mings’ error, but the stand-in skipper made amends after assisting super sub Trezeguet’s first.
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