Aston Villa boss Dean Smith doing his research on potential signings

By Liam Keen | Aston Villa | Published:

Manager Dean Smith insists any signings must be able to handle the pressure of playing for a club of Villa’s stature as they go in search of a striker.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

With Wesley and Keinan Davis injured – and Jonathan Kodjia leaving for Qatar– the club are desperate for a new forward this month.

But, with any new signings, Smith believes they must be aware of ‘what they’re signing up for’.

“When we’re looking at players I want to meet them first and talk to them,” he said.

“Make sure that they understand what they’re signing up for.

“I remember Sir Alex Ferguson talking about Manchester United and he wanted players that he believed could go on and play in front of 76,000 fans.

“It’s no different here. We’re guaranteed 42,000 each week in a sold out Villa Park whenever we play there.

“The players have to be able to handle playing in front of that.

“Part of that criteria when we’re looking at players is ones that can play in front of that.”


After the signings of Danny Drinkwater and Pepe Reina, Smith is still aiming to add Premier League experience to his side.

A task he admits has been difficult.

“Finding players with that Premier League experience has been tough,” he said. “There’s probably 10 or 11 teams still in the mix for the bottom three places.

“We need to win a few games to bring another few closer to us.”


Meanwhile, Smith hopes his side can learn from their ‘naive’ performance against Manchester City last Sunday.

Villa were thrashed 6-1 by the Premier League champions and Smith wants his side to take it as a learning curve as they aim to avoid relegation.

“You learn as much in defeats as you do in wins,” he added.

“We’ve given them the first three goals in my opinion, we’ve backed off and not engaged. 

“It’s naivety on our parts so we’ve spoken about that at length. 

“But you won’t come up against a Manchester City every week.”

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.


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