“We can take heart, knowing you can beat these big teams”: Dean Smith urges Aston Villa to be inspired by the results of relegation rivals ahead of the Premier League clash with Liverpool
- Dean Smith thinks it’s a ‘good time’ for Aston Villa to play champion Liverpool
- Villa’s boss has been encouraged by West Ham’s 3-2 win over Chelsea
- Smith says his players have been refreshed after Wolves loss and fixture congestion
Dean Smith insists that Aston Villa can draw inspiration from their drop rivals ahead of the daunting trip to champions Liverpool on Sunday.
Stuck in the relegation zone, Villa go to Anfield has not won since January and has only gained two points since returning from the lockdown.
Runaway Premier League winners Liverpool have won every top game at home this season and took their first title in 30 years last week.
Dean Smith remains optimistic for the journey from Aston Villa to champions Liverpool
Villas downgraded rivals Brighton and West Ham have stunned Arsenal and Chelsea late in the act after pivotal wins after the restart and Smith believes it shows his side what’s possible.
“You saw Brighton win in the last minute against Arsenal and West Ham won in the last minute against Chelsea,” he said.
“It didn’t escape me that West Ham’s stats were comparable to ours against Chelsea, but they managed to get the ball into the net a few times.
“We can have a heart for that, knowing that you can beat these big teams.
Smith was inspired by West Ham’s 3-2 win over Chelsea on Wednesday night
“I think it’s a good time to play Liverpool, especially if they have won the league. It probably won’t help to have fans in the stadium either, I think people are getting used to that, but they are an exceptional team.
“To have won the league with as many points for a team as good, Man City shows what an exceptional season they have had.”
Smith criticized the schedule after Villa’s 1-0 defeat to Wolves last weekend, their fourth game after the top flight started again last month.
But after a week without a competition, the boss hopes that a break has refreshed his men.
Smith thinks it’s a ‘good time’ for Villa to play Liverpool after winning the Premier League trophy
He said, “It allowed us to recover, that was the most important thing. It was thought a lot that I was making excuses about the schedule.
“But the fact that we entered that period after we played one game less than every other and eleven days later we played one game more than everyone else.
“If Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp had come up with the same thing, everyone would have sat down and noticed.
“It was no excuse, it was a reason for the spectacle against Wolves. That was the frustration that the spectacle wasn’t great. ‘