Dean Smith calling on Aston Villa fans to keep the faith following Wolves defeat
Dean Smith urged Villa’s supporters to keep the faith after derby defeat to Wolves left them rooted in the Premier League drop zone.
Leander Dendoncker got the only goal of the match as Villa’s winless run in the top flight stretched to eight matches.
Defeat left them 19th in the table with just six matches to play and a daunting double-bill against champions Liverpool and Manchester United up next.
Asked if he had a message for supporters, Smith said: “Keep the faith because there is a lot of belief in that dressing room and we are still working hard.
“How are we going to get out of it? By fighting, by working hard. By being as solid as we have been in the first few games and then hopefully showing a little more quality in the final third.
“That is what was lacking today from both teams. We are going to the champions next but you talk about Liverpool and Manchester United and Wolves are up there with them at the moment and we went and matched them today.”
Dendoncker’s goal was one of only three efforts on target mustered by either team but Wolves always looked the more dangerous in the final third.
Villa have now failed to score in four of their past six Premier League matches, with Smith taking aim at the fixture schedulers after what was his team’s fourth match in 11 days.
“I thought the biggest winner today was fatigue,” he said. “It is not a spectacle at the moment without supporters, even less so when you are asked to play so many games in so few days.
“Why the game was not played Sunday or Monday, I don’t know.
“If I’m honest I thought it was an average game between two teams who were very fatigued.
“They have had three games in seven days and we’ve had three in six and four in 11. That is the spectacle you are going to get when you have fixture congestion like that.
“It was a game of few chances with defences on top, littered with mistakes and fatigued bodies. The only bit of quality in the game was the goal.
“It is a tough league to win matches but it is even tougher when you are asked to play four matches in 11 days.”