Manager Dean Smith was happy with the result and delighted for one man but felt his side could have played better as Aston Villa beat Newcastle United 2-0 at Villa Park.
Having lost to Watford in their season opener, the West Midlanders were looking for an immediate response. And they were worthy winners, with Danny Ings scoring a spectacular goal just before half-time. Anwar El Ghazi’s second-half penalty made sure of the points.
Having lost to the Hornets at Vicarage Road, it was the first time Villa had played in front of their fans for some time. Roared on by a packed house, the hosts picked up their first points of the new campaign.
Smith was pleased to feel the atmosphere inside the ground and felt the three points was more important than the display.
“Certainly am (happy) in front of our own fans who have waited a long time to get back,” he said. “An OK performance but a result is what we needed.”
Ings was a surprise purchase for Villa in the off-season, joining the club from Southampton. The transfer came out of the blue as it seemed as though he would stay with Saints.
A standing ovation for @IngsDanny! 👏
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 21, 2021
Smith was delighted with the England striker and felt it justified the decision to snap him up.
“We had to deal with balls in behind with their pace but a great finish from Danny Ings and a set-piece routine we worked on in pre-season,” he added. “That is what we brought Ings in for. Anwar El Ghazi is a very good penalty taker.”
Smith looking ahead to better times
Clubs have had to deal with players isolating in the build-up to the season. It has not been easy for anyone but the campaign is now up and running.
And Smith feels it is just part of the world we live in at present.
“You just have to manage the times, we have got used to enough stoppages with short pre-seasons but we have to get on with it and manage it the best we can,” he continued.
And the former Brentford chief hopes the result will give his charges a boost for the coming months.
“Hopefully the better performances will come but it was important to get off the mark today,” he added.