Dean Smith happy to tweak Aston Villa tactics

Dean Smith reckons Villa’s increased squad depth will allow him to be a tactical tinkerman.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

The Villa boss sprang a surprise by playing three at the back in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Chelsea and has not ruled out shaking things up again for this weekend’s visit of Everton.

Despite losing Jack Grealish in the summer, Smith believes the arrivals of Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Emi Buendia has provided him with greater attacking options.

He said: “We have to manage players at this level and as we saw on Saturday, it is horses for courses.

“We went with the two up top with Ollie (Watkins) and Danny (Ings). Another time it could be we play one up, with one off, with someone else playing that role.

“I feel with the quality of the squad we have got now we can rotate and play different systems against different teams, in order to give them problems.”

Smith admitted his decision to switch to a three-man defence was designed primarily to negate Chelsea’s threat, rather than an attempt to get both Watkins and Ings into the same XI.

He said: “There are many different ways I can get two strikers in. It was all about how Chelsea set up.

“They make the pitch really wide and I thought with a 4-3-3 it would cause us problems on the outside.”

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