Aston Villa boss Dean Smith insists he will not be throwing in the towel and will work hard to put things right after a 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
Villa went into the match having lost four Premier League games in a row. And that worrying record now stands at five after Adam Armstrong’s early goal gave Saints all three points at St Mary’s. Matt Cash failed to deal with a long ball and Armstrong’s superb 20-yard effort gave Emiliano Martinez no chance.
The result means the Villans have not taken a point since beating Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on September 25. They have lost to Tottenham, Wolves, Arsenal, West Ham and now Southampton to sit 15th in the standings.
These are worrying times for Smith after he spent heavily in the summer transfer window. He forked out close to £90m following Jack Grealish’s big-money move to Manchester City.
Early signs were positive but they have now hit the buffers. But the former Brentford boss has made it clear that nobody is feeling sorry for themselves.
“When you are getting a run of results you get kicked in the teeth and they scored a hell of a goal,” Smith told Sky Sports. “I said to the players at half-time, you can’t feel the world is against you and have to go and leave everything out there which is what they did.”
And the 50-year-old felt his charges improved as the contest progressed.
“I don’t know where the goal knocked the stuffing out of us but they were better on the ball than us,” he added. “We did not get the press right, it took us time, and when we did we looked better.”
Smith expects Villa response
Domestic football now takes a back seat for a couple of weeks as the international game takes over. And the manager hopes that the enforced break will enable a reset at the club.
“I am a scrapper, always have been and disappointed to lose five on the spin,” he continued. “We have five players out injured and we will get players fit in the international break.
“We work hard during the break with the players that are there and get ready for Brighton. You saw what we are about in the second half, a fair score would have been a draw.”
Their next two games could be pivotal, with the visit of Brighton and a trip to Crystal Palace. Things will get considerably tougher as November gives way to December.
Matches against Manchester City, Leicester City and Liverpool follow before clashes with Norwich and Burnley.