Smith on Wolves
Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith admitted that he felt ‘sorry’ for Jack Grealish and Douglas Luiz as the Villa fell to a loss against Wolves.
However, the Villa boss believes that his side matched the opposition on the day, even if they couldn’t find an equaliser.
“I think the goal [Dendoncker] was the only bit of quality in the game if I’m honest. It ended up being the match winner and I thought it was an average game,” said Smith to VillaTV after the loss.
“We matched the opposition, they restricted us to few chances, we restricted them. We needed that little bit of quality in the final third.
“We started really well, but we’re up against a really good team, a top six team, who have done extremely well.
“I think they get a bit of fortune as Douglas [Luiz] ends up having to jump over the lad when he falls over, but Dendoncker’s finished it well into the corner.”
Smith feels that Villa’s heavy schedule – four games in eleven days – hasn’t aided his side’s survival hopes.
“I feel for players like Jack Grealish and Douglas Luiz, who has been outstanding in these four games but is looking fatigued. We couldn’t change it, and you’re asking them to play an awful lot of minutes in a short space of time.
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It’s eight games without a win for Aston Villa after Wolves did a job on Dean Smith’s side at Villa Park.
Leander Dendoncker’s powerful, left-footed drive just after the hour was enough to see off Villa leaving them rooted in 19th place with just six games to go.
As for Smith, he changed tact and went with a two-man front line from the off partnering Keinan Davis and Mbwana Samatta for the first time this season.
However, the change to a diamond formation didn’t pay off with Villa looking toothless once more. They had just one effort on goal which was Jack Grealish’s weak low effort in the first half.
Midfielder Dendoncker’s match-winning strike came via substitute Adama Traore’s daring run. The Spaniard wasn’t tackled which allowed him to play a pass to Raul Jimenez. There, the Mexican found onrushing full-back Jonny Otto who teed up Belgian Dendoncker who slotted home.
Callum O’Hare compensation
Coventry City are keen to land Aston Villa midfielder Callum O’Hare this summer ahead of his release from the club, but whether they will have to fork out on a compensation fee remains up in the air.
The 22-year-old will leave Villa Park, the home of his boyhood club, for good on June 30, the same day his loan spell with the Sky Blues will officially come to an end.
Their boss, Mark Robins, has made clear his desire to see O’Hare return next term and says he wished to get any transfer business completed as soon as possible.
Under FA and EFL rules, sides landing free signings under the age of 24 must pay a compensation fee to the club the player was last registered to – but only if the player has been offered a contract extension that is equal to or an improvement to his current terms.
Therefore, unless Dean Smith, Chrisitan Purslow and their recruitment staff have offered O’Hare terms equal to or better than the deal he last signed with the club in 2017 then Coventry will be able to sign him completely free.
Reports by the Athletic have claimed that Villa have held talks with O’Hare who twelve months ago triggered a one-year extension in his deal that kept him part of Dean Smith’s side until this summer, but that no contract offer had been made.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he has held talks with owners about their transfer plans ahead of the summer window.
The Red Devils are a full 40 points behind their old rivals Liverpool and Solskjaer has admitted they will need players to close the gap.
Jack Grealish is believed to be high on his wishlist, with suggestions the Aston Villa skipper is their transfer priority.
Villa fans react to Wolves loss
We’re not good enough defensively to commit numbers forward.”
“You call that spirited!? After 20 minutes we just rolled over for them. Can’t see where the goals will come from. This will go down to the West Ham game imo.”
“Roll on Coventry away next season.”
“No tactics. No heart. No desire.”
“I think it’s super cool to see the Villa play with so much creativity and passion, and not trying the same thing all game as if anything different is going to happen.”
“Why were we running the clock down with a 1-0 deficit?”
“Most of the players know they’ll just leave if we go down so there’s 0 passion and no heart.”
“No urgency in the last 10 mins. Should have pushed forward and thrown the kitchen sink at them.”
“No idea how to create and never looked like scoring a goal.”