Dean Smith has defended Tyrone Mings for his error against Chelsea last weekend and backed the defender to get back to his best immediately.
Mings made a poor backpass that led to Chelsea’s second goal in a 3-0 victory over Villa last week. It was an uncharacteristic lapse in concentration for a man who has become a regular feature in England squads. He will be keen to put it behind him as Villa get back in action against Everton on Saturday evening.
Manager Smith has seen a response from Mings without needing to step in himself.
He said: “I’ve not had to help him. I thought he dealt with it really well. He owned the mistake and held his hands up to the players and owned it on social media as well.
“He made a mistake. They happen in football.
“He has probably saved us 20-odd times before he made a mistake. As long as he keeps learning, and from what I have seen in training this week he has, he will keep getting better as a player.”
While Mings will be back in action against Everton, Smith is not yet clear as to whether Emi Buendia and Emiliano Martinez will play.
They will be back in Birmingham hours before the game after keeping up their fitness in Croatia to avoid quarantine when returning to the UK following their time on international duty with Argentina.
Smith said: “We are expecting them to join us tomorrow morning and I’ll assess it then and decide if they’ll be involved or not.
“We have got their numbers of what they have been doing each day. That gets sent straight to the performance department and passed onto the coaches. They are in a good place physically which is what we need to know.
“I’ll assess that in the morning and wait until tomorrow.”
Smith wants Villa to be ambitious
It has been a mixed start to the season for Villa after what was deemed to be a positive summer in the transfer window.
Their early form has not matched their potential and has even led to there being talk of Smith getting sacked.
While that would seem too sudden, Smith will need to steer them in the direction they are aiming towards soon. But their next opponents will be tricky; Everton are unbeaten and joint top after four games.
Therefore, the Toffees are one of the sides Villa are looking to break past as the season progresses.
Smith said: “After getting promoted, our remit was to stay up and we have progressed from 17th to 11th.
“The next step is the hardest because you have to try to go past established Premier League teams.
“Some of those teams have been top-four teams in the last decade as well. Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton come into that category.
“West Ham did brilliantly last season and we want to emulate that this season if we can.
“We haven’t made as good a start as we would have liked but it’s important the confidence we built up in the Chelsea game, despite the scoreline, is taken into the home game.”