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Sport Dean Smith: Aston Villa have record fifth straight win in their sights

02:45  23 october  2020
02:45  23 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Dean Smith (born 19 March 1971) is an English professional football manager and former player who is the head coach of Premier League club Aston Villa .

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith said that some of his players had "played their way out" of next Sunday's Carabao Cup final after defeat at Southampton. Since losing to Saints, Villa have won three league games and each was followed by defeat in their next league game.

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Dean Smith challenged his Aston Villa players to become history-makers as they close in on top spot in the Premier League.

Villa have never won the first five games of a league campaign in their 146-year history and even if they fall short, a draw against Leeds United on Friday will be enough to take them top of the table heading into the weekend fixtures after winning their opening four league matches – Villa's best start since 1930.

Villa did not pass the 12-point mark until the 13th game of last season, when they avoided relegation by a single point thanks to a draw at West Ham on the final day.

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Aston Villa 's Dean Smith says he went through an 'emotional rollercoaster' after his side's four-two win in the second City derby at home to Birmingham City. The head coach said his team 'didn't play well' despite the triumph over their rivals.

Dean Smith has transformed the Villa Park mood after a relegation fight last term. Villa are now tougher to break down and have more firepower up front. Watching Aston Villa before lockdown, you always felt they would need to score at least three times to win a game as they let in 56 goals in their

a group of football players on a field: Dean Smith challenged his Aston Villa players to become history-makers against Leeds © Provided by Daily Mail Dean Smith challenged his Aston Villa players to become history-makers against Leeds a screen shot of Dean Smith: Dean Smith's side have enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, winning their first four matches © Provided by Daily Mail Dean Smith's side have enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, winning their first four matches

'Our role as head coach and players is to try to create history for the club,' Smith said. 'Everybody will always look at what the club has done before.

'We were fortunate enough in the Championship to win 10 games on the spin for the first time in the club's history. We've won a play-off final (in 2019) for the first time in the club's history.

'Now we've had a good start and it's the first time since 1930 that we've won the first four games. We'll look to continue trying to make history as it means you're having successful times.'

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Smith was hopeful Ross Barkley would be fit to play despite a sore knee. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder, who scored the only goal at Leicester last Sunday, missed training for much of last week and wore an ice pack after the match.

Ross Barkley holding a ball: Smith was also hopeful midfielder Ross Barkley would be fit to play despite a sore knee © Provided by Daily Mail Smith was also hopeful midfielder Ross Barkley would be fit to play despite a sore knee

The last time these sides met Marcelo Bielsa instructed his players to let Villa equalise after Leeds scored while an opposition player was down injured.

The gesture - which came during a 1-1 draw in the Championship - saw Bielsa and Leeds pick up the FIFA Fair Play Award.

And the Argentine says he would do the same again.

'We would do what corresponds in the situation, the result is not important, it means you are only doing things for your benefit rather than what is right,' he said.

Smith: England snub will make Grealish even more determined

  Smith: England snub will make Grealish even more determined Dean Smith believes Jack Grealish's England snub will make him even more determined to fire Aston Villa past Leicester on Sunday. He was man-of-the-match against Wales but left out of the next two.The Villa skipper was man of the match in the 3-0 friendly win over Wales last week - his first England start - but was then left on the bench for the Nations League clashes against Belgium and Denmark.

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Aston Villa 's Premier League survival feels better than when they were promoted last season, says manager Dean Smith . One player whose future at Villa will inevitably be discussed in the media this summer is Jack Grealish, who scored their goal at West Ham on Sunday and has been their

a group of people watching a football game: Marcelo Bielsa told his players to let Villa equalise after Leeds scored when a player was down the last time the clubs met © Provided by Daily Mail Marcelo Bielsa told his players to let Villa equalise after Leeds scored when a player was down the last time the clubs met

'The decision that was recognised by FIFA represents the whole group which I am a part of, I'm referring to the club, the players, the technical staff, and in one way or another we interpreted that the goal we scored was unfair, so we did what was necessary to resolve the situation.

'I was very happy that FIFA recognised this gesture. I also consider that what we did was something that had to be done.

'This is the kind of conduct we wish to follow independent of whether we win or we lose.'

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