Watch Everton vs Aston Villa survive Sky Sports Main Event on Thursday from 5.30pm; kick-off 6pm
Last Updated: 15/07/20 9:47am
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith feels his side’s win against Crystal Palace gives them a new wave of belief in their relegation fight.
Villa was without a win considering that the Premier League returned following the suspension as a result of coronavirus pandemic, but ended that barren streak with a 2-0 triumph over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
That win, secured through a Trezeguet double, was especially crucial as victories for West Ham, Bournemouth and Watford mean just six points separate five teams in the bid to avoid joining Norwich in the Championship next season.
“It’s been hard for the players to maintain that belief when they’ve put in some really good performances and not quite got the rub of the green,” said Smith, whose team play at Everton on Thursday night (6pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports Main Event.
“So it had been nice to have that victory and it was a well-deserved victory too. Hopefully we shall take a lot from that. Something had to improve for us and thankfully it did against Palace.
Everton vs A Villa
July 16, 2020, 5:30pm
“We felt we were really competitive in that game and we’ll be really competitive against Everton. The lads will have to do that again but getting that win has given everyone a lift.”
Villa are four points off safety and will possibly need to win all three of their remaining fixtures if they’re to secure their Premier League status for next season.
Smith accepts such a situation can certainly be categorised as ‘high pressure’ but feels his players have the mental strength to deal with such a scenario, having excelled in a similar position last season.
“The players have all played under pressure before so they know what it’s about and we’ve got quite a lot of the players who were in the play-off winning team last year back now,” that he said.
“They know what the pressure is similar to of playing in those types of games where the pressure is really on.
“This is tournament football now and we’ve got the players who can handle the pressure of tournament football.”