Smith ready for stage two of a tough week as Villa look to make it seven wins in a row against a Millers side battling to beat the drop
By Graham Hill
DEAN Smith reckons it will be a case of three… and not so easy this week as Villa aim to keep up their momentum for the play-offs.
Villa head to Rotherham tonight aiming for a SEVENTH straight victory.
It is a sequence Villa fans could only have dreamt of a couple of months ago.
But now everything seems to be coming together for Smith.
There are always going to be some problems though – and defender Kortney Hause is a doubt for the match at New York Stadium.
The on-loan Wolves defender was forced off in the win at Sheffield Wednesday with a hip problem.
That could mean a recall for Axel Tuanzebe who is back in action after a three month injury lay-off.
Tuanzebe, on loan from Manchester United, made his first appearance back in the side as a second half sub at Hillsborough when Hause came off.
But while Rotherham may be struggling at the wrong end of the table, Smith knows that Paul Warne’s side will be no pushovers – especially as they beat Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Smith told the club’s official website: “It’s a big week.
“We’re now back up here for Rotherham in midweek and then a home game at the weekend against Bristol City.
“Whenever you have a three game week in this league, it’s tough. But we look forward to it. Our focus now is on Rotherham.
“The lads are very hungry to succeed. All in all, the players have a lot of momentum, a lot of belief and they have also shown a lot of character too.”
As for the Millers, they expect to have ex-West Brom full-back Joe Mattock fit after coming off against Forest due to illness.
But defender Billy Jones went off will be a doubt after also coming off against Forest.