The claret and blues are unbeaten in their last six games, taking 14 points in the process with only the freak 5-5 draw with Forest and Albion’s last gasp ‘Hand of Rod’ goal denying them a full complement.
And Smith feels he can sense Villa’s spirit ahead of Saturday’s clash with Stoke City at Villa Park. “There’s an awful lot of confidence in the team and you can see it building,” he said.
Reports have suggested Smith could target former Walsall playmaker Romaine Sawyers from Brentford. However, his priorities remain a goalkeeper, centre-half and left-back, with fellow Brentford player and former Saddler Rico Henry a possibility.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed Villa have sold more than 1,400 half-season tickets in the run-up to Christmas – the most since Martin O’Neill’s side were challenging near the top of the Premier League in 2009/10.