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Dean Smith confident Aston Villa can recover from Manchester City mauling

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Dean Smith is confident Villa are strong enough to recover from yesterday’s 6-1 hammering at the hands of Manchester City.

Villa's players look shell-shocked during Sunday's defeat.

Sergio Aguero bagged a hat-trick as the champions ran riot and Villa suffered their heaviest defeat in nearly four years.

Smith’s men now find themselves back in the relegation zone with the boss now needing to lift his players ahead of three vital fixtures against fellow strugglers Brighton, Watford and Bournemouth.

Asked if yesterday’s result was the kind which can dent belief, he replied: “It can be. We know that we’ve contributed to that scoreline, which doesn’t help.

“But a lot of the players are the same ones that performed so well against Burnley and Leicester.

“It’s a setback but I’m sure it’s a setback that won’t harm us going forward. We’ve got three big games against teams in and around us now.”

The defeat was Villa’s biggest since they were thumped 6-0 at home by Liverpool in February, 2016.

“As much as we wanted to go and compete and get a result against, our season will not be defined on playing Man City,” said Smith.

“Their three scorers today cost more than our entire squad, though that’s no excuse for the goals that were given away and the amount of possession they had without us laying a glove on them.

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“The third goal summed up the whole game to me probably and our performance.

“They’ve made about 20 passes without any physical contact and Aguero puts it in the top corner from 20 yards with no one within three or four yards of him.

“As good a team as Man City are, if you’re not making physical contact with them then you’re going to get punished.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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