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Dean Smith: Aston Villa defence learning from the best

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Dean Smith hopes watching the world’s best can help further tighten Villa’s defence.

Villa boss Dean Smith

The boss revealed how his coaching methods have included showing players video clips of top defenders in action in order to improve their own game.

Villa have leaked 23 goals in just 16 games this season and addressing their troubles at the back has been top of Smith’s agenda since replacing Steve Bruce last month.

His four games in charge to date have delivered two clean sheets, though Villa face a stern test of their progress tomorrow when they visit a Derby team who have plundered 11 goals in their last four games.

Smith said: “We took the defenders in for 10 minutes yesterday morning.

Derby v Aston Villa: Matt Maher and Luke Hatfield preview the game

“We showed them clips of Derby but also other teams and how they defend, like Napoli, Juventus and Chelsea. Top teams.

“I think that is what players want, they want to improve. If you can show them clips from some of the top teams in the world doing that and top players working hard, I think it can only be good for the players here.”

Smith has already tasted defeat at Pride Park this season, after being beaten 3-1 with Brentford back in September. But he said: “I fully respect what they’re doing but I’m in no way fearful of them. We’ve got some good players of our own who’ll look forward to facing Derby.”

Midfielder Birkir Bjarnason, who missed last week’s 2-0 win over Bolton with a groin injury, is back available.

Villa’s home fixture with Leeds has been moved back 24 hours to Sunday, December 23 (kick-off 1.30pm) and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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