By GRAHAM HILL
VILLA boss Dean Smith says today’s clash with Middlesbrough should have been played on Sunday.
Although Villa beat Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, Smith felt that have them little time to prepare for the visit of Tony Pulis’ side.
Smith said: “The last few wins we’ve had, we haven’t had too long to enjoy them.
“There was a fixture congestion of three games in six days, personally I felt the Middlesbrough game should’ve been put back to the Sunday.
“If you’ve played Sunday-Wednesday, that doesn’t give you a lot of recovery time.
“But certainly if we put the performances we have been doing and get the three points then it give you a big boost ahead of the international break.
“People can then look forward to the Blackburn game.”
But Smith admitted he disagreed with midfielder John McGinn’s view that Villa got carried away with their run last Autumn when they looked like staging a serous bid for automatic promotion.
Villa’s form fell away during December and for the early part of the new year.
And Smith says that was more down to their injury list than attitude.
The Villa boss said: “To be honest, I read John’s comments… and I don’t agree with him!
“Sometimes that happens with players.
“I thought there were a number of factors which led to the loss of form – personnel was the big one.
“Every game is tough, so I never felt there were any easy games.
“But one of the things I love about John McGinn is his honesty, he probably felt he was at the top of his game.
“And we were winning games.
“So when you’re not winning games, you look at reasons why, and for him, that was one of them.
“For me there were a lot of reasons.”