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Dean Smith: Proving people wrong. Photo: via Reuters

Dean Smith: Proving people wrong. Photo: via Reuters

Pool via REUTERS

Dean Smith: Proving people wrong. Photo: via Reuters

Aston Villa are facing a crucial night in their survival mission, with Dean Smith revealing the club are prepared to spend big again if they stay in the Premier League.

Smith is preparing for a huge encounter at home to Arsenal as his team run out of time to avoid a swift return to the Championship.

Villa are third from bottom, three points adrift of safety, and a heavy defeat by Mikel Arteta's resurgent team will almost certainly sentence them to relegation ahead of their final game against West Ham on Sunday.

But they could move out of the bottom three tonight with victory and a heavy defeat for Watford by Manchester City in the earlier game. Yet Smith is optimistic and insist that the club's financial future will be safe in the event of them dropping out of the top tier.

Villa's billionaire owners, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, have spent more than £135 m on the squad this season, and Smith said significant funds would be available if the club scrambled to safety.

"We are thankful we have two billionaire owners who have ambitions of improving this club," he said. "If we remain in the league then we have certainly got the power to compete with some of the other big clubs. We want to do it for them as much as anyone."

Sawiris and Edens completed their takeover in July 2018 and have since spent more than £250 m on players and infrastructure.

Smith said: "The short-term future of the club will not be in jeopardy. If we get relegated it's one of those things we have to deal with.

"You'll always have people that want to put you down, so the job is to prove people wrong. We believe we have enough in the dressing room, and we have to prove that."

© Daily Telegraph, London

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