Thursday 24 October 2019

Smith: Reds and Spurs inspiring us

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Boss Dean Smith will take inspiration for Liverpool and Tottenham's Champions League heroics in Aston Villa's promotion bid.

They host rivals West Brom in the first leg of their Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final today.

Villa were beaten finalists, losing 1-0 to Fulham last year, and finished fifth this season after a club record of 10 straight wins propelled them into the play-offs.

Liverpool beat Barcelona 4-0 after being 3-0 down following their Champions League semi-final first leg while Tottenham came back from 3-0 down on aggregate against Ajax to draw 3-3 and reach the final on away goals on Wednesday.

Villa go to The Hawthorns for the second leg on Tuesday and Smith knows regardless of what happens today the tie will not be finished.

"We've seen with Liverpool and Tottenham in the last few days that it's never over," he told a press conference.

"There will still be something to play for, whether it's 0-0 or 3-0 when we go there.

"We have great belief in our squad and this team. We've got six or seven players who can change a game.

"The run we've had these last few months has been purely down to that team ethic."

Smith also played down any financial worries which may force Villa to sell their stars, including Jack Grealish, if they miss out on promotion.

Aston Villa v West Brom
Live, Sky Sports, 12.30

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