Aston Villa boss Dean Smith makes an honest admission after defeat at Sheffield United

Dean Smith, the Aston Villa manager, admits Sheffield United deserved their victory over his side at Bramall Lane yesterday.

Saturday, 14th December 2019, 9:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:15 pm
Dean Smith manager of Aston Villa - Simon Bellis/Sportimage

John Fleck’s brace of goals put Villa to the sword, condemning them to a third Premier League defeat in a row.

And Smith said: "I'm annoyed because we are better than we showed, they've taken their chances and we haven't taken ours.

"But football changes very quickly and we have a quarter-final on Tuesday against Liverpool. We've lost three on the spin but two of them were against Chelsea and Leicester - who are seven points in front of Manchester City now - so you have to put it in perspective.

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"I thought defensively we were okay in the first half but we never managed the ball well enough, which is something we should be doing with the players we've got.

"We frustrated them in the first half and we wanted to make sure we weren't as open as we were against Leicester.

"I never felt we worked hard enough and I felt they deserved to win the game because they were a little bit more enterprising in the opposition half than we were."

A dire first half was followed by a very watchable second period in which the Scot's double saw Chris Wilder's team move up to fifth in the table.

For Villa, whose captain Jack Grealish crashed a penalty against the crossbar when attempting to half his side's deficit, survival is proving to be more of a battle.