The belief in what we do shone through in the end
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith saw positives and negatives in his team’s performance tonight as he saw us twice come from behind to beat them 3-2 and he said he felt his team had thrown the points away.
They led 1-0 and 2-1 with goals from Ollie Watkins and Jack Grealish but it was Burnley who took the points with three second half goals and Smith said: “My reaction is one of disbelief. It’s a game that should have been won at half time with the chances we created and the football we played.
“Saying that, we didn’t start the game well for the first ten minutes, but after that we took over it and our quality shone through with a good goal. Their keeper’s been making saves and it was a game that should have been won by half time.
He added: “The attacking play was what I expect from us with the quality of players we have. What I don’t expect is the defending for their goals. We’ve been good this season, we can’t get away from that, but we can’t come here and concede three goals like we did tonight.”
Sean Dyche was pleased to see his side came back and spoke about our resilience that had seen us come back to win this game and make it three wins in a week in league and cup.
“Tonight epitomised what we are about, in different ways,” Dyche said. “In the first half Villa were the better side; there’s no two ways about it. They had more composure on the ball and defended resolutely when they needed to, without the ball.
“They had a much better half than us, but our resilience to do all the right things was there to see. We could have been down a couple, but we keep doing the ugly stuff well and we kept working. I said to the players at half time that I didn’t think they could be as strong in the second half, but we could be miles better and I thought we were.”
After the win at Liverpool six days earlier, he admitted: “There was a little bit of after the Lord Mayor’s show. The players put in a massive shift at Liverpool, and we changed it at Fulham, which can take your eye off the ball a little bit, even though we put in another brilliant performance there.
“I thought it took us a half to get going and our diligence to the detail and the ugly stuff kept us in it and then I just felt we could play way better. Suddenly, we were on the front foot and getting higher up the pitch, both in and out of possession and we scored three goals, which was really pleasing.
He made a substitution at half time and two more in the second half and said: “People came off the bench and affected the game again and I thought Woody, in particular, was outstanding in the second half. His hold up play was good, as was his willingness to work for the team.
“He gets us the corner for the first goal and finds himself a fantastic header for the third. That’s as good a header as you will see. Dwight has done great to get it out of his feet, but from that distance and heading away from goal, he has to angle his header and it’s a fantastic goal.
“The belief in this team is there for all to see. We managed to balance it right back up in the second half and suddenly the belief in what we do shone through in the end.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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