Belfast Telegraph

Trying to avoid defeat isn't our style, says Smith

Dean Smith
Dean Smith

By Robert Jones

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has vowed to adopt a positive approach to stay in the Premier League.

Villa find themselves in the bottom three heading into tonight's home game against West Ham.

Smith's newly-promoted side have lost three of their opening four games, with their solitary success coming at home to Everton.

"It's very easy in this league to go in and try not to lose," Smith said.

"But I think there's a big difference between trying to win and trying not to lose. My aim is to try and win. We will survive, I have no doubts about that.

"We knew there was going to be a step up with the opposition.

"The first four games I don't think we played as well as we can. We haven't played to our potential just yet.

"You make mistakes, you are going to get punished. We found that very early in the game against Bournemouth.

"We made two mistakes in the first 12 minutes and we were 2-0 down.

"That's something you have to learn from quickly."

West Ham picked up only one point from their opening two league games, which included a sobering 5-0 home defeat to Manchester City.

But the Hammers have won their last two games against Watford and Norwich to move in to the top half of the table.

"They are a good team, a well-established Premier League club with a head coach (Manuel Pellegrini) who has won the Premier League," Smith said.

"They are certainly a threat going forward. If you look at the expected goals table, they'd be at the top for entertainment.

"Their signing, Sebastien Haller, looks a very good centre-forward. He's already got a couple of goals and looks a handful.

"They're good in wide areas, too, and have a lot of pace, trickery and creativity."

Aston Villa vs West Ham United

Premier League

Villa Park, Tonight, 8.00pm

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