After waiting 10 Premier League appearances to score following his £19million move from Lyon, Traore now has four in six after his strike in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle helped take Villa back into the top half of the table.
Smith’s men now head to Burnley tomorrow night and the boss said: “Bert is making a really good contribution to the team. We brought him in for the quality he has got and it always takes a while to settle when you have come from abroad. But he has done so really quickly. He is getting the rewards for the work he puts in. I always knew he had quality but it is the work-rate without the ball which has really impressed me.”
Victory over Newcastle ended a three-match winless run for Villa, who also saw their season put on hold by a coronavirus outbreak at their Bodymoor Heath training ground.
Striker Ollie Watkins said: “It was quite difficult being off for a couple of weeks but I felt like we held our own against Manchester City and did not look like a team that had been out of action.
“It is credit to the boys for keeping fit. Hopefully now we can go on a good run and keep climbing the table.
“I feel like we are the form we are in and how well we have been playing, we just have to focus on ourselves.
“We know we are going to create and it is just about finishing our chances. I think we could have punished Newcastle a bit more in the second half on Saturday if we were tidier with our passing. If we weren’t too sloppy we could have scored three or four.”