Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 February 2020

Aston Villa need to be more clinical against rock-solid Everton, says Dean Smith

Side promoted from the play-offs in May are yet to get a point back in the Premier League

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, right, with his assistant John Terry. Reuters
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, right, with his assistant John Terry. Reuters

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has called on his team to be more clinical in front of goal as the promoted club takes on an in-form Everton in the Premier League on Friday.

Villa are still seeking their first points having returned to the English top flight, after a 3-1 loss at Tottenham Hotspur in their opener and a 2-1 defeat by Bournemouth last weekend.

Smith said Everton could prove another tough test, having held Crystal Palace to a goalless draw before beating Watford 1-0 last time out.

The Merseyside club have kept 10 clean sheets in the last 13 games in the competition going back to last season - including four against the league's "Big Six" of Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal.

"Their defensive organisation has been very good. I've been impressed by what I've seen so far in their two games against Crystal Palace and Watford," Smith told reporters on Thursday.

"They have not been free-scorers either, just the one goal in the two games, but they have not conceded so it's going to be tough for us to open them up," Smith said.

"I felt we created a number of chances last week that we didn't take, but it's our turn to create them again and take them this time."

Villa spent over £100 million (Dh450m) on 13 players in the close season, but some have yet to play.

"I've always been of the belief that you have to earn the right to play and you've got prove that you're better than the players who have already got the shirts," Smith said.

"Some of them have got in earlier than others and some of them are waiting their turn, but they're working very hard in training to get into the team."

Updated: August 23, 2019 09:55 AM



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