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Aston Villa boss admits he’ll be missing 2 key players for Newcastle United match

1 month ago
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Dean Smith has been speaking ahead of Saturday’s match.

The first time a full capacity crowd has been allowed at Villa Park in a year and a half.

With Newcastle United, Dean Smith has named three players as key threats.

Whilst when it comes to his own team, the Villa boss admits he will have two key players missing.

Dean Smith speaking at his pre-Newcastle press conference:

On playing Newcastle…

“They’ve got some really good offensive players and I think we saw that last weekend against West Ham, who look like they’ve continued their form from last season.

“Callum Wilson’s a threat, Allan Saint-Maximin’s a threat, Miguel Almiron’s a threat, so they’ve got a lot of threatening players.

“Defensively, we have to make sure that we’re sound. We need to play with a lot better rest defending than we did last week. If we do that, we’ve got attacking players who can score goals.”

On Danny Ings:

“We understand the quality that we’ve got with Danny Ings. He’s a top goalscorer in the Premier League and he was one that we wanted to get.

“As I said, I didn’t want the onus to start falling on Ollie Watkins given what he did last season.

“It was Sod’s law that someone who hasn’t been injured for the last three years gets injured the week before the season starts.”

On team news…

“Ollie Watkins, I don’t expect to play. He’s not healed as quick as we would have liked so far.

“I’m hopeful that he’ll be back for Brentford. If not, he’ll definitely be back after the international break. He suffered a knee injury. I don’t know too much about what it was but we were hopeful he’d be ready for tomorrow, but I don’t expect him to play.

“Bertrand Traore suffered a hamstring injury in the game last week, so he’s going to be out until just after the international break. Other than that, we’re fine.”

On fans’ return to Villa Park…

“I’ve missed the camaraderie with them (the fans), the togetherness. These set of players have built up a great connection with our supporters over the last two or three years.

“We’ve got an 18,000 waiting list for Season Tickets, which just shows that there’s a big connection within the city.

“They’re a big part of the journey that’s helping us to progress and we’re really looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.”

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