Dean Smith: Aston Villa need to tighten up at the back

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Boss Dean Smith admitted Villa must tighten up at the back after being humbled at home by Leicester City.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

Jamie Vardy netted twice as the rampant Foxes recorded a 4-1 win at Villa Park, their eighth Premier League victory on the spin.

It was a result which left the hosts 17th in the table, only outside the bottom three on goal difference.

Villa, who lost Tyrone Mings to injury during the first-half, have now conceded eight goals in their last three matches.

Smith said: “You can't expect to win football matches at Villa Park when you concede 23 opportunities.

“Saying that, we go toe-to-toe with teams because we had 15 ourselves.

“I just feel, defensively, our structure should be better. Individually, our defending has to be a little bit better.

“Up until half-time, we had as many chances as Leicester. They were more clinical.”

Villa Park paid tribute to Ron Saunders prior to the match following the legendary manager’s passing on Saturday,


Smith, who grew up watching the Saunders team which won the league title in 1981, said: “The club and the supporters paid their respects really well,” Smith said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get a performance to match that.

“To win the league in 1981 with only 14 players - six or seven made 42 appearances and played every minute of every game - was incredible.

“That team went on to win the European Cup and I’m very thankful I was a supporter during that historical period in this great club’s history. My heart goes out to his family.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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