Dean Smith: There’s no time to lick Aston Villa wounds

Dean Smith has warned Villa cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves as they aim to bounce back from their first defeat of the Premier League season.


              
File photo dated 01-02-2020 of Aston Villa manager Dean Smith. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday October 2, 2020. Boss Dean Smith believes Aston Villa have given themselves the perfect platform for success after their summer spending. See PA story SOCCER Villa. Photo credit should read Mark Kerton/PA Wire.
File photo dated 01-02-2020 of Aston Villa manager Dean Smith. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday October 2, 2020. Boss Dean Smith believes Aston Villa have given themselves the perfect platform for success after their summer spending. See PA story SOCCER Villa. Photo credit should read Mark Kerton/PA Wire.

Villa host Southampton on Sunday aiming for a swift response to last week’s 3-0 home defeat to Leeds, which ended their 100 per cent league record.

Smith is reluctant to be too critical of players who had performed so impressively in previous matches.

But the boss has also acknowledged there are lessons to be learned if his team are to build on their strong start to the campaign.

Particular focus is being placed on how his players responded to falling behind for the first time this season. Smith said: “You can sometimes learn more from defeats than wins. I don’t like to learn from watching how we played for 40 minutes in the second half on Friday but you have to.

“They are the things we have to get better at to become a well-established team in this league. It is a league which punishes you very quickly if you feel sorry for yourselves.

“I felt that after we conceded the first goal against Leeds, we did feel sorry for ourselves.

“I spoke last week about how you can get a bop on the nose if you are not at it. We got that in the second half on Friday.”

Sunday’s match is between two of the Premier League’s most in-form teams since football restarted following lockdown.

While Villa’s defeat to Leeds ended an eight-match unbeaten run which included their remarkable escape from relegation at the end of last season, Southampton have lost only three of their 15 matches played behind closed doors.

Ralph Hassenhuttl’s team head to Villa Park on a four-match unbeaten run after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Everton last weekend.

Villa, meanwhile, face competition from Manchester United and Everton for Scottish’s teenage ace Kerr Smith.

The 15-year-old Dundee United centre-back was put through his paces by Villa’s academy staff during a trial at Bodymoor Heath last month.

Kerr, who can sign professional forms when he turns 16 in December, is now on trial at Manchester United while Everton are also thought to be keeping tabs on his progress.

“He’d like to stay with Dundee United but we can’t stop clubs wanting to take a look at him,” said Dundee sporting director Tony Ashgar.

“You’re talking about some of the biggest clubs in the world. Plenty of clubs have asked to have a look at him but we can’t let him go to them all

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