Dean Smith spoke to the media after Aston Villa’s defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.
The boss discussed his team’s game plan, their valiant performance and the need for a cutting edge in the offensive third.
Here’s what he had to say…
On the performance…
“My reaction is one of disappointment. We’re scrapping for points and running out of games.
“I’m pleased with the performance, attitude and work-rate of the players. The game plan could have got us more out of the game against a team that’s been unbelievable for the past two seasons.
“To come to Anfield and out-shoot the opposition, in terms of efforts on goal, is no mean feat, but I don’t want to be a valiant loser because if we are then we’ll get relegated.
“I fully believe in this group of player and they put in a performance today that they can take heart from. They need to maintain the standards that we’re setting.”
On the game plan…
“If we came to Liverpool and tried to outplay them then there would only be one winner – there’s only been one winner all season against Liverpool.
“They play a high line and we thought the space would be in behind the defence. Unfortunately, their quality in the final third told in the end.”
On offensive play…
“We’ve got to make the most out of our opportunities. We had a 4v2 at one stage when Jack was bursting through, he slipped it into El Ghazi and the goalkeeper made the save.
“There were some really good performances from players, but we need goals at the moment.
“We need that quality in the final third. I believe it’s there and I believe it will come.”