Dean Smith claims fierce training sessions are underpinning Aston Villa form

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‘Players are going nose-to-nose’: Dean Smith claims fierce training sessions are underpinning Aston Villa form

  • Dean Smith reveals Aston Villa players are going ‘nose-to-nose’ in training
  • Villa are on a 10-game winning sequence to move into the play-offs
  • They can make a statement of intent by beating Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday 

Dean Smith has revealed the fight to get into Aston Villa‘s first-team is so fierce players are going ‘nose-to-nose’ in training ground matches.

Villa are on a ten-game winning sequence and can make a statement of intent for the play-offs to come should they extend that to 11 by beating Leeds at Elland Road.

It has been a consistent run of high-energy, committed football and Smith says the intensity does not let up even at Bodymoor Heath. 

Dean Smith has revealed how fierce the fight to get into Aston Villa's first-team is

Dean Smith has revealed how fierce the fight to get into Aston Villa’s first-team is

‘Last Sunday we had a small-sided game with players going nose-to-nose, such is the competitiveness,’ he said. ‘It is probably the environment we have created here. 

‘We want to see winners and losers out on the training ground as well as on a Saturday. It makes for a healthy environment. The lads are enjoying that.

‘I let them do it. I am not going to get in the middle and catch one off them! They are quite competitive but also reasonable. They know where the line is and sort it out themselves.’ 

Smith added: ‘I’ve got players knocking on my door because they feel like they should be playing. When you’ve got that you’re on the right track.’ 

The Villa manager claims his players are going 'nose-to-nose' in training ground matches

The Villa manager claims his players are going ‘nose-to-nose’ in training ground matches

Villa lost last year’s play-off final to Fulham, prompting a summer of turmoil that saw a takeover of the club. But Smith says those memories are not firing this season’s bid for the Premier League.

‘Not at all, last year is gone, we all know what happened,’ he said. ‘There is a new set of players here who did not experience that. 

‘The newness of that will wipe out the memories of the ones who were there last time.’ 

Villa have begun planning for the possibility of returning to the top-flight, including potential signings, but also staying in the Championship.

‘We have had to over the last four or five weeks,’ said Smith. ‘We have had to look at what it would like as a Championship team but also the possibilities if we become a Premier League team again. 

‘The base is to look at being a Championship team and hopefully get promoted.’

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