MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 03:02:04| >> :120:17587:17587:

Dean Smith admits it is "crunch time" for Aston Villa

Dean Smith admits it is
© Reuters
Dean Smith's relegation-threatened side have not won in the league since January and have taken just two points from a possible 27 since then.

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith accepts it is "crunch time" for the club with five matches left to save their Premier League status.

Villa have taken just two points from five matches since the resumption, leaving them four points from safety.

Smith admits he never thought they would be in a relegation battle this season having come up via a Wembley play-off final victory, but remains optimistic they can survive.

"It's definitely crunch time. We've only got five games left," he said, ahead of Thursday night's visit of in-form Manchester United.

"I think everybody can see that home advantage at the moment has disappeared massively. You don't have your home fans there and dragging us through it at times, so you certainly miss that.

"You rely then on team spirit and the camaraderie of the squad. I feel we've shown we've got that but we haven't got a points tally to go with it.

"We need scoreboard pressure now. We need to go and get some points."

Asked whether he ever envisaged being in a relegation battle, he replied: "No, I thought we would have a little bit more, if I'm honest.

"I didn't think we would be a top-six team. I knew it would be tough. We've also experienced some big injuries during the season as well that have hampered us.

"We lost some of our big players and didn't handle it well enough at the time."

Despite the club's slide – they have not won in the league since January and have taken just two points from a possible 27 since then – Smith remains upbeat.

"I'm handling it fine," he said. "I've been in this position before at a different level against different quality opposition.

"The added pressure I have here is that most of the family are Villa fans so they probably find the pressure tougher than I do.

"I think we surprised people with our performance at Liverpool (2-0 loss on Sunday) but ultimately we came away with nothing and I said I don't want to be a valiant loser.

"We need points, we need scoreboard pressure. So we'll be going all out to get that win against United.

"But we'll certainly need a performance similar to what we had against Liverpool."

ID:405693: cacheID:405693:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:3538:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith pictured on June 27, 2020
Read Next:
Dean Smith: 'We must have more cutting edge'
>
Read more about Dean Smith Football

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Championship
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Finnish Veikkausliiga
NIFL Premiership
League of Ireland Premier
Welsh Premier League
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
J1 League
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd4310113810
2Chelsea431091810
3Liverpool431091810
4Everton4310104610
5Manchester CityMan City4301111109
6Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton43015329
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs43013309
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham422010558
9Leicester CityLeicester420246-26
10Brentford41213215
11Crystal Palace41215505
12Aston Villa411257-24
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves410323-13
14Southampton403146-23
15Watford410337-43
16Leeds UnitedLeeds5032512-73
17Arsenal410319-83
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle5023613-72
19Burnley401338-51
20Norwich CityNorwich4004111-100

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!